Pastor's Blog

What Love Is
2/11/2019 7:12:00 PM by: Randy Clarke

John the Apostle has often been called “the Beloved Apostle” or “the Apostle of Love.” He didn’t start out that way! Jesus called John and his brother James “the Sons of Thunder” probably for their temper. But after hanging around Jesus for 3 years, John was transformed. He was part of Jesus’ inner circle. In John’s first letter (1st John 3:7-18), he gets right to the point of describing God’s work vs the devil’s work. The devil works to bring death, not life. Just like Cain murdering Abel. The work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is life-giving work. He is a creator God. He is a forgiving God so that whatever you’ve done, you can be forgiven and restored. He is the author of life. He breathed into Adam, the first man, who then became a living creature. He has knit each of us together while still in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13). The devil’s work is to sow hatred in our hearts. Wherever and whenever you experience hatred, you experience the work of the devil. That’s why racism is so evil. It’s the work of the devil. V15 says that anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer. Strong language. That’s John being crystal clear. In the context he’s talking about fellow believers in the church. We also know from other scripture passages that we’re to love our neighbor as ourselves. But in the church, in the congregation, love must guide our relationships even if we don’t agree on every issue. What I mean is that in any congregation, you’ll find a variety of opinions on any issue – politics, money, power, recycling, gender issues, legal vs illegal immigration, which version of the Bible to use, the meaning of a certain verse, etc etc. Those potentially divisive issues are not the guiding issues for the Church. My relationship to you is not based on any of those issues. Love is the guiding principle in the Church. And love is life-giving, and unifying. Love is the basis for refreshing community. It’s in our Church vision statement. It’s in our Church DNA.

Look at the second sentence in v8. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” We have a savior! We have a deliverer! We have a conquering, warrior God who has come to do HIS WORK! Not only is God’s work completely different from the devil’s work, God’s work also destroys the devil’s work. It isn’t just that God is building a different kingdom (which is true). But it’s also that God’s Kingdom destroys the devil’s kingdom. In the OT book of Daniel, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a large statue whose parts were made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay each of which represented kingdoms on the earth. In the dream, that statue was struck by a large rock not made by human hands. The Prophet Daniel interpreted it. He said “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44) The Kingdom of God has come! And it destroys the devil’s kingdom. Jesus has appeared to break every chain that binds you! The work of Jesus delivers us from the strongholds of the devil that grip our heart.

In 1984 the band “Foreigner” released what became a hit song. It was called “I want to know what love is”. I read in an article that before they recorded it, the band got into a circle and prayed the Lords’ Prayer together. Millions of songs and books and poems have been written to explain, define, describe, or illustrate love. But… if you really want to know what love is, read 1st John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” This is the love that the world misses or doesn’t understand or doesn’t accept. But… Love was created by God and the definition of love comes from God. It expresses itself in unselfish sacrifice. The Gospel is all about sacrificial love. Not teenage infatuation. Not puppy love. Not sappy love. Not romantic love. But a powerful, life-giving, death-destroying agape love that sacrifices for others! That is the kind of love the Spirit reproduces in you and me.

Previous Posts

Advantages of a Smaller Church
11/18/2019 8:25:00 AM  by: Randy Clarke

What Keeps People Coming back to Church?
11/12/2019 8:38:00 AM  by: Pastor Randy Clarke

Fears for American Christianity
10/2/2019 7:12:00 AM  by: Randy Clarke

Focus on what is Gained!
9/3/2019 6:54:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Faith over Fear
9/3/2019 6:52:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Take a Break!
8/18/2019 6:48:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Get rid of all hatred, bitterness & pride
8/11/2019 6:49:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Love Anyway
8/5/2019 6:51:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Faith over Fear
7/29/2019 6:53:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Power on Display
7/17/2019 6:54:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Super-Abundant Harvest
7/7/2019 6:55:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Are you Curious or Committed?
7/1/2019 6:56:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Religion vs Relationship
6/24/2019 6:57:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Who Cares?
6/17/2019 6:58:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Perfection in the Image of God
6/10/2019 6:59:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Powerful Praying
5/19/2019 7:00:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

When you feel like a failure
5/12/2019 7:02:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Offering a Sacrifice
5/6/2019 7:02:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

When you come to a Crossroads or Fork in the Road
4/28/2019 7:03:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

The Ultimate Super-Hero
4/23/2019 7:04:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Take All of Jesus
4/15/2019 7:05:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Ego vs IHS (Identity in Christ)
3/31/2019 7:06:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Don’t Get Derailed
3/25/2019 7:07:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Going Beyond 30
3/17/2019 7:08:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

What Comes Out!
3/12/2019 7:09:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

A Meaningful Life Part 2
3/3/2019 7:10:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Living a Meaningful Life
2/24/2019 7:11:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

What Love Is
2/11/2019 7:12:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

God’s Embrace
1/21/2019 7:13:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Listen Up!
1/14/2019 7:14:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Great Expectations
1/7/2019 7:15:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Remember your “before” and “after”
12/31/2018 7:16:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Mary the Chosen
12/17/2018 7:17:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

You have a Voice
12/10/2018 7:19:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Unfulfilled Expectations
12/3/2018 7:20:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Noticing what God has done
11/19/2018 7:21:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

No more Boasting about Human Leaders in the Church
10/29/2018 7:21:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

You are the Church!
10/22/2018 7:23:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Be an Encourager!
10/15/2018 7:24:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Don’t trip me up!
10/9/2018 7:24:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Submitting to Governing Authorities
9/24/2018 7:25:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Transformation is a Metamorphosis
9/19/2018 7:27:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

Do your Best!
9/19/2018 7:26:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke

God’s Sovereign Choice
8/27/2018 7:27:00 PM  by: Randy Clarke