“Not In It to Win It” by Andy Stanley
What does love ask of me?
This is a question that I’ve heard in many church circles even long before the recent pandemic landed. And the question is still as much a poignant one as it was over 2,000 years ago,
Andy’s provoking query to each one of us takes us to the foundational teaching of Jesus.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 NIV
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 1 John 4:8 NLT
We love because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 NET
Believers are known to be a ‘peculiar people.’ We encounter GOD Who invites us in through the life sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we behave … well, peculiar in the face of the world around us. We are called to love as He loved us: flawed, indifferent, sinful, disobedient — as far from Him as we could possibly go. He called us.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NASB1995
And if we answered that call, we said ‘yes’ to servanthood as Jesus modeled for us. That translates to doing things that often times do not make sense in the natural world. Whether you choose to wear more red or blue on the political spectrum, is a political preference but that should not overshadow the divine call to servanthood (which you volunteered for) and the allegiance we first have to our Creator.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 NLT
Being one with Him allows us to gather together in unity with other Believers of His Church in one mind. One mind.
Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, 1 Peter 3:8 CSB
Exemplifying love towards the weak (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) is where Jesus called us to see Him. And that is where the dying world will see Him in us — in action. By simply putting aside our personal worldly preferences for the sake of those who need us to be His Hands and Feet.
I am passionate about the content of this book because it hit home for me in many ways. And it circled me back to what truly matters. “What would Jesus say about all this?”
So Jesus told them, “Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him. Mark 12:17 ISV
As GOD’s Image Bearers we have to look further and deeper into the impact and significance of how we posture our views. Everything matters. Because we matter — to GOD. And as His Ambassadors of love, hope, redemption, compassion, mercy, justice … we may have to think twice about how we put things on display.
You are loved no matter where you are in your personal views. Those views are yours to keep — because what matters is that we keep the main thing, the main thing and we maintain the unity of the Church by setting aside the other stuff. Jesus overturned a few tables in the Temple when He was here. He spoke of the rhetoric of that day as distracting and destructive. He gave us one job and in His parting words to us:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 Amplified
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 ESV
Let’s agree to disagree when necessary, but let love overrule at the end of the day.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary
*Thank you to Andy Stanley for this.