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A Loving & Friendly Church Family

I've been blessed to be a part of the Summerdale Church of Christ family for over 5 years now. We've gone through lots of changes in church leadership, membership, sickness, death and growth. One thing has not changed. Our love for one another. This has radiated beyond the four walls of our church building. We have dozens of visitors each week that say the same thing: "This is such a friendly church!" No, I don't want to brag, but I do want to offer some praise. Where there is friendliness and genuine love the church will grow. It's all about the love!

There are hundreds of references to love in the Bible, and it reveals itself as the most remarkable book of love in the world. It records the greatest love story ever written, which is God’s unconditional love for us that sent His Son to die on the cross (John 3:16, I John 4:10). The Bible is the “Book of Love.”

Love is one of God’s attributes, but it is also an essential part of His nature (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). “God is love,” (I John 4:8, 16) which means that He is the personification of perfect love. Such love surpasses our powers of understanding (Ephesians 3:19). Love like this is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3), free (Hosea 14:4), sacrificial (John 3:16), and enduring to the end (John 13:1).

There are four different words for love in the Greek language. Two of those distinct words, meaning “to love”, appear in the Bible. The word phileo, which means “to have ardent affection and feeling” or a type of impulsive love, and the word agapao, which means “to have esteem” or “high regard.” In the memorable conversation between Jesus and Peter, there is a play upon these two words (John 21:15-17). The warm word agape is the characteristic term of Christianity. This word for love is used several different ways in the Bible.

(1) Agape love indicates the nature of the love of God toward His beloved Son (John 17:26), toward the human race generally (John 3:16, Romans 5:8), and toward those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:21).

(2) Agape love conveys God’s will to His children about their attitude toward one another. Love for one another was a proof to the world of true discipleship (John 13:34-35). This love should come natural to the Christian.

(3) Agape love expresses the essential nature of God (I John 4:8). Love can be known only from the actions it prompts, as seen in God’s love in the gift of His Son (I John 4:9-10). Love found its perfect expression in Jesus. Christian love is the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus in the believer (Galatians 5:22).

I have heard it said that “Love is like oil to the wheels of obedience.” It enables us to run the way of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:32). Without such love, we are truly nothing (I Corinthians 13:3). Such Spirit-inspired love will never fail (I Corinthians 13:8) but always flourishes. And its what the church needs today.

We should seek to have the love of the New Testament Christians. Are you ready to experience that kind of love? Have a great week!!!

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