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Values of the Church: People-Loving

One of our church values is to be People Loving, but what does that mean and how does that look?

The Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus into saying something that would contradict the law. They asked Him a question that I bet many of us would also like to know the answer to. What is the most important commandment? What is the one thing I need to to?

What was Jesus' response? Love God and love others. We have labeled this short portion of scripture as "The Most Important Commandment," because if you do the first one, love God, then you will have to do the second, love others as a consequence of obedience to the first. In fact the entire ten commandments revolve around these two commandments. The first four show a love for God and the next six show a love for man.

Jesus repeats His answer in John 13:34-35. He says once again, that we are to love one another. It seems as though loving other people is incredibly important to God, which is why it is incredibly important to us as a church. So, what does the Bible say about loving people?

Loving the unlovable

In Matthew 5, Jesus changes the game when it comes to love. He shows us that it's not a matter of just loving the lovable, but that we should loving our enemies as well. Pray for those who hate you? This may shock us just as much as His original listeners because it goes against what the world does.

In the worlds economy, we only show love to those who love us, but God is in the business of loving all people regardless as to their moral alignment.

Why is that? Why would God command us to love those who are so unlovable?

When we look at those who Jesus spent His ministry loving we will see this principle in action. Look at the love Jesus showed to Zacchaeus in Luke 19. He was a Chief Tax Collector, which means he was disliked by all, yet Jesus ate at his house. Look at the lepers of Mark 1 and Luke 17. They were total outcasts of society; people wouldn't have even looked at them. Jesus, however, showed them love.

All are created in God's image

Paul tells us that no one is good; not even one. Then he later tells us that the one who shows love to everyone, has done everything that law commands. Why is that? Paul understands that while we may be lost sinners in active rebellion against our creator, we still bear His holy image. Genesis 1:27 reveals us to what we have translated into the Latin term, Imago Dei, which means Image of God.

Every man and woman have been created with God's image. That means that everyone that you love and everyone that you don't like, no matter how much you dislike them, have been created in His image. Take that into perspective for a second. Your grandmother was created with love, just as much as Joseph Stalin.

Your child was handcrafted in the womb to bear God's very image in the same way that Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Ronald Regan or Barack Obama was.

God has made clear two things. 1.) All people are created in His image and 2.) we are to love all people.

Loving people creates life change

We have learned as a church that when we show love to those around us, in the way that Jesus did, it changes them and us. You'll never experience spiritual growth until you begin to love the unlovable.

If you've every been to a wedding, then you have probably heard 1 Corinthians 13 quoted. And that works for the purpose of a wedding, but it speaks so much more to how important it is for us as Christians to love those around us. It reminds us that no matter our talent, ability or even spiritual gifting, without love, we are nothing.

Take a few moments and test this theory right now. Pray for someone who really gets under your skin. Pray for that person for the rest of the week and see if God doesn't start a work in your heart and theirs.

Remember that if you need to talk with us, we are here for you.


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