When the disciples see the resurrected Lord, they decide they cannot follow Jesus alone. As much as they need Jesus in their lives, they also decide to commit to each other in the way Jesus taught them to do. They love each other faithfully with grace and truth. Because Jesus rose again, they share the one they see, touch, and follow with the world.
We have a sermon in our Bible that describes this kind of vision of love. It’s the book of 1 John; a short, 5-chapter message written by an anonymous pastor to a congregation learning to do life together. They admitted their faults to each other, took the light of Christ into the dark places of their world, and relied on his power to conquer their greatest fears. Despite their concerns, they realized that the commitments they made to each other through the Spirit’s power gave them the boldness and courage they needed to share assertively with others. They loved their enemies so much that they overwhelmed them with a different kind of lifestyle. Even the strong differences within their congregation became strengths that were used to “proclaim the Word of Life.”
As the Easter season begins and our world rapidly shifts toward recognition, graduation, and commissioning season, I want to share with you the kind of love that I think we need at First Baptist in the days to come. It’s what I call “5-Dimensional Love.” If you watched a 3-D movie at the IMAX across the street from the church, the staff would hand you special glasses to see the action coming at you. In 4-D, you might feel air or water splashing your face. But 5-D love puts you in the story. You join the movie and become a part of the action.
This kind of love is the life that Jesus calls us to build as his church. We need faithful friendships across generations. We need commitments to the family that not only we have but even the ones under our roof that God has called us to serve. We need to trust that Jesus has conquered every force of sin and darkness through the cross. Now through the resurrection, he’s opening doors for us to walk through so that we too can show a love that sacrifices our lives for our friends.
Throughout this series, we’re going to give you some opportunities to see what love looks like at FBCTLH. You’ll hear stories of real life people who are accepting God’s challenge to a deeper, stronger love and learn from them how we can tighten the bonds and expand the bonds of friendship. We’ll commission missionaries sent out this summer to share the gospel.
How can you get involved in Loving Jesus?
- At the Haiti lunch on April 26, take time to sit at a table of strangers and get to know one another.
- If you’re going somewhere this summer on mission, contact our office. We want to know about your work so we can commission and pray for you in both services April 26. Please contact Hannah by April 19, and give us your summer contact information to be included in the worship guide.
- Sign up for the Pastor’s Lunch and Class April 19. As a new or returning member, you’ll have an opportunity to meet some newer members of our fellowship and form bonds of friendship with them. RSVP deadline is April 12. Childcare provided.
- On May 3, plan to invite another SMBS group to lunch or brunch one Sunday morning. Sit together in worship, and share stories. If your class or group is already planning a Spring gathering, invite another class from a different age group to join you.
Easter is just the beginning. Grab a copy of 1 John and your Kairos journal. Love is on the move and drawing us closer to one another. Here are the details:
Love Jesus: A Series on 1 John
4/12 What Love Looks and Sounds Like (1 John 1:1-4)
4/19 Love in 5 Dimensions (1 John 1:5-2:2)
4/46 Engage the World Boldly (1 John 5:7-21)
5/3 Love that Participates (1 John 2:7-17)
5/10 Loving the Family that God Calls You To (1 John 3:11-24)
5/17 Love that Overcomes the Unknown (1 John 5:1-6)
5/24 Pentecost Sunday: No Greater Love (1 John 4:7-21, John 15:12-17)