Love never fails.
– 1 Corinthians 13:8
I’ve learned that life, love, and God come in one package. God is love is life. Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean sang, in the twilight of his life, ‘To love another person is to see the face of God.’ John the beloved said, in the beginning of his gospel, ‘In Christ was life, and this life was the light of man.’ You see that there is a connection evident both in the Word and in all this that we call reality, between life, love, and God.
And God wouldn’t have it any less. See, salvation isn’t just for you to get of out hell free. It’s not a cheat code in order for you to go to heaven. Salvation is Eternity entering into time and space; it is the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, becoming the creation, in order for creation to be with the Creator, for all Eternity.
I just want to take some time to share my current perspective on the matter, for your consideration.
The Son of God gave up His throne, gave up eternity and infinity in order to subject Himself within the bounds of time and space, to become as one of us. He was born of the virgin Mary, living as one of us. He was eating, laughing, crying as one of us, tempted in every way, yet without sin.
It wasn’t enough for God to come down to be with us – He fed the hungry, healed the sick, and raised the dead back into life. To the prostitute, the leper, and the tax collector, He did not hesitate to show compassion. To the Pharisee, the scribe, and the religious, He did not hesitate to rebuke, out of a heart aware of His Father’s infinite love.
And this STILL wasn’t enough, because the Son of God had to die. After the priests lay their hands on Him to strike Him, and after He was scourged and nailed to the cross.. after the blood of the New Covenant was spilled in the ground of Golgotha, He said, ‘It is finished.’
It was finished. The spotlessness of the Lamb of God was transferred to man, and the filth of man was transferred to the Son of God. Paul says that Christ BECAME sin, and we became His righteousness.
But understand that though there was an exchange, there was also a union – because when Christ died, we died with Him. When He was raised from the dead, so we were born again, new creations. And when He ascended into heaven, and took His seat at the right hand of the Father, so we were seated in heavenly places with God.
This is why as Christ is, so are we. We have become one with Jesus Christ, new creations, filled with the Holy Spirit. By God’s love we have Christ’s life alive in us. I don’t have a lot of goals in my life, but I am just so saturated in hearing of God’s love being lavished upon me day after day after day that it’s not just become an objective, but a desire for me to just keep on sharing it.
The 2pm Service in Good News Community Church has a special place in my heart. It was there where I started becoming more active, and eventually, by God’s grace, faith came by hearing, and by hearing God’s word which was preached… but really, more sung. I mean, it’s not that the preachers weren’t doing their job right, I love them, but it was the worship that really kept me going back.
It may not have been perfect technically, and the mics would have given in and the dynamics could have been off here and there, and all sorts of unexpected problems could have come up, and the hearts of the worship leader/team could have been off (like I had any leverage in knowing and saying that in the first place)… but at the time, it was the best worship.
God makes all things work for good, and for any and all worship teams out there, you ought to know that the songs you sing go straight to the heart, and the congregation appreciates this, one way or the other.
But like I said, it was the worship that kept me going back. And it’s significantly because of the experiences that I had, experiencing Christ in the worship, that I strive to deliver the same experience in our own 5pm Service – not for absolute perfection according to worldly standards, but from a perfect love which casts out all fear.
My father was a beautiful soul. We were not the best of buddies, and oftentimes I wouldn’t call him my dad, more than I would call him the Colonel, and I would be his soldier. You can tell how this was the root of so many more issues. There were many times when I openly complained about him to my friends, and I wouldn’t even give him or my mom the courtesy of at least washing up and presenting myself as their son, after a night in the town.
To cut the long story short, it wasn’t until approximately 2 years after his passing when it suddenly hit me like a lightning bolt… the fact, the truth that he may not have loved me the way I wanted him to love me, but he loved me and my brothers the best way he could.
God loved me through my dad. And I may not understand everything that’s going on in and around the world, and I may not understand why certain things happen, but the fact that I know that my God loves me just keeps me awake, keeps me standing, keeps me walking, keeps me running.
Why am I sharing these stories? It’s because you give what you get. I dare you to love your enemies if you haven’t experienced the same love Christ had for the Centurions and soldiers who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross.
It is not of our church, and it is not of the body of Christ to fall back into religion, to demand certain qualities from you. We refuse to fall from grace; on the other hand, as Christ raised us up, we stand boldly in the pulpits, to raise you up in the grace and mercy God has for you… to raise you up, no matter what age you may be in, in the everlasting love and life God has given you, through Christ, who gave Himself for you.
Christ loves us with an everlasting love. So much that whoever believes in Him would have everlasting life. Christ is love, and Christ is life. Christ gave up His life on Calvary, and on the cross He gave up His love as He cried out, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?’… That we would have life. That we would have love. That we would have Christ. Everlasting.
In Christ, we have life abundant, and life everlasting.. in perfect union with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… together, with them and the body of Christ, in love.
A love that has never failed.