Last night was a great night. We started the journey of talking about what it means to ACTUALLY love people the way Jesus intended us to.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 Paul talks about how he was the “Worst” sinner and how God did that to use him as an example for those who were YET to believe…essentially saying “If He did it in me, He can do it in anyone” to two groups of people.
TO PEOPLE THAT DON’T KNOW CHRIST
You can go to churches and feel like you don’t belong, which is sad because those are communities that are supposed to be characterized by love. Yet people go and feel like they don’t belong because everyone has everything together, but we know the faults in our own lives. All that being the case, we feel like there’s no hope for us. Paul’s encouragement is for you…don’t give up! If God can do it in Paul, He can do it in you!
TO PEOPLE THAT DO KNOW CHRIST
For those of us who have grown up in church, it’s easy to get skeptical when “So and so” gets saved. Think of Paul. He’s preaching to the very people he has been persecuting. Imagine what they thought. Paul is saying to the church community “There is nobody that you can give up on. If He did it in me, He can do it in them.” Do we expect people to behave a certain way before they can belong in our churches? Do we have silent criteria that people have to meet? Do we give up on people when they don’t “Get it” after a certain period of time? Remember, we’re all people in process and God STILL hasn’t given up on us.
The two greatest commandments from Mark 12 are essentially this: Love God and love people. Jesus tells us to “Love our neighbour.” That’s not the person who agrees with you all the time, or believes the same things that you do, or behaves the same way that you do or even the person that treats you well. Your neighbour is any person that you meet.
Let’s be a youth ministry and let’s be individuals that are willing to love people that have nothing to offer us. Let’s ask for the kind of love that Jesus had in mind!