February is here! That means all of the husbands and boyfriends will wait until the 13th to stand in the card aisle together and aimlessly look for that one special card that reminds those wonderful women in their lives of how lucky they are to have them. It’s that traditional Valentine’s Day message that shows those we love how much we actually love them. But, does that identify the love we have for our wives/husbands/girlfriends/boyfriends? I hope you don’t spend 365 days a year with your loved ones and only select one day to express your love for them.
See, in John 13:34-35, Jesus tells his disciples, “34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” This love that Jesus is talking about here isn’t that deep intimate love that we may feel or show with our spouses, but it is a deep respect or fondness of one another. In the Greek it’s ἀγαπάω/agapaō—of persons; to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly. It’s through respect and humility that we treat each other with love and kindness. All of these things we must learn to develop and show as Christians. It’s an attitude that we raise our kids with in the hopes that they also will show the same to those around them.
I wonder how many people are turned off from hearing the Gospel message based on their observations of how we treat one another? Can we challenge ourselves to show hospitality and encouragement to our church family? Can we do some introspection of our personal walk and devote some effort to build upon these wonderful qualities?
As your Pastor, I want to challenge you all to make a change this year. Within our church we have many areas of need and many more areas of opportunities to serve. Please don’t wait to be asked to be involved, see an area and feel a tug, then make a move to commit. Our church environment is only as healthy as your personal walk. Take time to ask yourself what you can do to show love within First Baptist Church. Blessings.
In Christ, Pastor Bryan W. Knight