25 Jan Love for the Body of Christ
You may have seen the expression I Love My Church printed on t-shirts, social media and widely used as a campaign slogan for your local body. To a lost and dying world this expression could be quite perplexing. Love? Church? How could a two hour lecture early Sunday mornings wearing stiff clothing be describe with a warm, lovely feeling such as love? The world cannot understand the connection that believers have to each other according to God’s design. My prayer is that your local church will be apart of shattering the facade of nominal christianity.
There is truly great depth in saying that you love your church. I would even venture to encourage you to examine your own heart. Believer, do you sacrificially love your church? I might remind you that “church” is not a building, it is God’s people gathering to worship him. I don’t have space in this blog for an all-out theology lesson on ecclesiology but let’s remember that your local church is the gathering of saints in your community in order to corporately worship and serve Jesus together. Now, let’s break down the word “love” so that we can fully know what I Love My Church really means. Merriam-Webster and I may disagree on the definition of love. The writer of 1 John through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16 NIV). Let’s pray that we would love our neighbor the way that Jesus has loved us.
You might not be called to physically lay down your life for a church member but Jesus gave us the perfect example of how we are to sacrificially love members of our local body and our neighbors. When we see how Jesus loved his bride so perfectly that he died for her our minds are transformed to do the same. The watching world should see that we are not members of a social club for our own self gain. The world ought to see sacrificial love actively being displayed in order to reflect what Jesus has done for the world.
My church, my spiritual family, my community is certainly not perfect nor will any gathering of believers be. Each member of the church is still a sinner but we are different from the world in that we are able to love one another genuinely because Jesus first loved us. I can honestly say that I love my church. We are family. The people that I worship God with and serve with regularly make a point to gather multiple times throughout the week. I can not list all the ways that makes Pineview Baptist of West Columbia special but allow me to mention a few. Due to a tragic car accident one member not only lost her mom but also gained two extra children. This member all of a sudden had 6 children to care for and no vehicle that could carry the whole family. Within a short time this family had a new vehicle that was donated to them by another member. My church loves our surrounding community and deeply desires for the hispanic community across the street from us to be worshipping God. Every week we pick up children and feed them the word of God and feed their stomachs. One of the best ways that we love each other is by hearing and responding to biblical truth. We value God’s word and we push each other to look more and more like Jesus in our everyday lives. How can we be loving and yet allow our members to be stagnant in their faith. Is that loving? Please pray for Pineview Baptist that we would continue to grow as a gospel centered church.
The point of this blog is not to brag on my beautifully imperfect church family. Rather it is to encourage you to intimately love the people that God has put in your life as community. Your church family should honestly know where you are at spiritually and in turn push you closer to Christ. You should be using the gifts that God has given you to aid in the inner workings of the body. Your local body should not be contained in four walls where the outside world believes your faith should stay; rather, let’s show the world the love of Jesus when we live our daily lives truly loving our church.
Generation LINK Resident
Pineview Baptist Church
West Columbia, SC