|June 22, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
This week is Vacation Bible School (VBS) week at Fellowship Community Church. I am amazed by what I get to observe every night. This is a work of love in words and actions! We are truly blessed by our team of volunteers! The music is awesome! The skits have been amazing! The teachers are truly Spirit filled! The atmosphere is just fun and engaging for the children. The message of TRUEassic Park is loud and clear: By faith we believe God created the heavens and the earth! Please continue to pray for the 100-plus children who have joined us on this journey! Pray for health for our staff and stamina! Please join with us in prayer for the Holy Spirit to work this week at FCC!
As I reflect on what I have seen, I was drawn to a very well-known passage found in 1 Corinthians 13. Sometimes this is called the love chapter!
And yet I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Paul had been addressing the use of miraculous gifts in the church in chapter 12. Then he introduces “the most excellent way.” This word translated “excellent’ is used to describe the power at work in us which God used to raise Jesus from the dead (2 Corinthians 4:7). It describes the glory of God that will be revealed in heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17). Paul uses it to describe the revelations of heaven that he experienced (2 Corinthians 12:7). So, we can see that this excellent way is exceedingly superior to any other method for the church to serve.
In 13:1-2, Paul addresses our identity. He concludes that we are nothing even if we exercise our spiritual gifts but love is not present. We can use our gifts and miss the most important ingredient – LOVE. It is sobering to think how many times we may have done this. We did not really think we sounded like gongs or cymbals but we did. We believed that our faith was glorifying God yet it was not. We examined a portion of Scripture and discovered deep truths but without love, it is incomplete. All of these and any other use of our gifts without love reveals nothing about us. So, let us seek to be lovers! Let the love of God so saturate us that everyone will sees His love shining through us! This is what I have seen this week!
Secondly, Paul addresses the value of our accomplishments. He says we accomplish nothing without love! Is it possible to give generously without love? Yes. Could someone even endure great hardships and miss the blessing of God’s great love? Yes. We must never forget to measure our accomplishments by one standard – His LOVE!
Let’s seek to obey Jesus’ command: Love one another (John 13:34-35). What is the standard – it is His example of love to us! This is the newness that Jesus revealed in His life on the earth! Love as I have loved you! When we read through the gospels, we always see Jesus loving others. He is LOVE and therefore He loves everyone in every circumstance. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by wickedness in this world. But we must not stop loving, we seek God to keep our love hot. Jesus warned us that a season is coming when the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). But we are determined to love and keep loving! When we feel empty, let’s run to Him to fill us up with His love. And then we will be ready and able to love others.
Give praise to God for His great love today! Ask Him to fill your cup to overflowing so you will be ready and able to love! Every person you see or meet today is hungering for His great love. Therefore, let us be channels of love to others!
Our new Worship Pastor, Ed McCampbel, will be leading us to the throne of God’s grace this Sunday. Pray for Ed and his family as they join with us! Next week David Carter will be joining our team as our Youth Pastor. Pray that David and his family will experience God’s love as they join with us too!
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday morning at 9:00 or 10:30 a.m. as we worship our Lord together. Our sermon is entitled, “Luke, a Scholarly Physician.”
Your servant for Jesus’ sake,
2 Corinthians 4:5