A HEALTHY CHURCH… is a place where the love of Christ shines

Welcome to the fall season Tabernacle Baptist and friends! Fall officially begins the end of September. The festive seasons will be upon us in no time at all. 

The theme for the month of September is “A healthy church is a place where the love of Christ shines.”   Mark 12:30-31, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

It is so interesting to sit back and ponder the ways of God. He created this universe in six days, and created us so that we could have fellowship with Him. Not because God was incomplete without us, but simply because He wanted to. He created us, and He loved us.

Sin entered the world, and ruined the very reason for our creation. Sin broke our fellowship with God. Yet, the primary heart of God is so basic and simple. The single greatest commandment is simply to love the Lord our God with all of our being. And the second greatest commandment is that we love each other with the same love we often selfishly reserve for ourselves.

That’s it. It is sooooo simple!

I love history. As I look at the history of the world however, I see nothing even close to what God originally desired from His creation. Nations rise against nations desiring to hold power over each other. Ruthless rulers hurt their own people and lead them through pointless wars which kill millions upon millions. Mankind enslave each other. Harm each other. Defraud each other. All because God’s most simple desires to love Him and love each other are blatantly ignored. We are wise to look upon the past and learn from it. A worldview excluding God’s Word may be politically correct nowadays, but it has a terrible track record for the well being of mankind.

God’s desires for us are really not complex at all. We are to love Him. Not just in word only, but our love should bubble out of our hearts so vividly that it changes the way we live our lives. Not only should we love our God, but we “…shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

This love that God desires should affect positively how we interact with,

  • Our spouses
  • Our children
  • Our extended families 
  • Our co-workers
  • Our friends
  • Our church friends
  • Those who don’t know the Lord 

And all of the annoying versions in-between! Jesus says in Matthew 5:46, For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? Loving those who are difficult to love is where God’s grace really shines through. 

This love should also change our reactions. Viewing life through the lens of loving God, and loving others should change the way we react to life and those around us in this life. 

Notice through all of this, church has been mentioned very little. If we are seeking to be like Christ in EVERY area of our personal lives, it will spill out into our church lives naturally. It will not have to be faked on a Sunday morning, and “go back to normal” the rest of the week. John 13:35 says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” 

A church that is truly healthy from the inside out, will be a place where the love of Christ shines through. It will be unmistakable. And THAT is a church that I want to be a part of!

-P. Thomas