March 11,2024

Good afternoon my Church family, 

Yesterday we talked a lot about the love of God and how we are to love one-another. I hope it was an encouragement to you. It probably and should have sounded & felt like a daunting task. But that is to help us depend on the Holy Spirit to accomplish His love through us. That needs to be our mentality. (1) It’s the “affection of Christ” (Phil. 1:8) that we are borrowing and using in our love for others. 

(2)nd, our active emotional and physical love for one-another needs to be motivated through the love of Christ shown to us (1 John 4:10). In that way, to make others feel our love and to feel love for others, we must first feel the love of Christ poured out for us. 

To summarize, our love for others must be motivated from (1) dependance upon the Holy Spirit (remember a fruit of the Spirit is love in Gal. 5:22-23), and (2) we must be motivated from our experience of Jesus Christ (look a Eph. 5:1-2!).

2 John 12 illustrates how this love for others will be fleshed out in Church relationships: 

“though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper & ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” 

This is one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible. It has made an incredible impact in my heart & mindset on how I view relationships in general but especially Church ones. 

When studying his writings, you come to realize that the Apostle John had a profound sense of God’s love felt and understood in his life. He felt deeply about God because He experienced God’s affections for him. But he also knew what it felt like and looked like to apply God’s love on his fellow Church mates. In his Holy Spirit inspired writings, he is always applying Christ’s command to ‘love one-another just as I have loved you,’ and here at the end of 1 John is another example of that:

If we are loving as God desires, we should feel an urge to be around God’s people. We would rather be with them than remain long distance. This is actually a verse to rebuke the “online Church” age that we live in (it’s a blessing for those who can’t make it, but a bad habit for those who can!). If we are ‘loving one-another like Christ,’ then it means a desire to come in close to people’s lives. 

I said on Sunday related to the affection of love, “imagine telling your spouse, ‘I love you, honey, but I just don’t feel anything towards you anymore.’” That wouldn’t fly. That’s another way of saying, ‘your love has slipped or diminished.’ Likewise, if you tell your spouse, “I love you, but I just don’t want to come close to you or be around you,” then I would question that love. 

And I would question too, the kind of Christian love that says, “I just don’t have a great desire to be with God’s people.” No, our love for one-another, if we are following Christ’s command, will look like 1 John 12! We would rather come to be in person, face to face (not ‘facetime!’) than stay separated. 

I’m praying that we as a Church would enjoy “more and more” (1 Thess. 4:9-10) one-another’s company and long for one-another’s presence. In that way, “our joy will be complete.” 

With the affection of Christ (Phil. 1:8), 

Love Aaron

From Pastor Aaron

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