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Love Inn: The church that loves will survive and thrive

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.
-1 John 4:7-8

God wants a people who will receive his love and love one another. God wants a people who will spend time loving him, not working for him. I believe our place in heaven will be determined by how we loved. When God looks at us to evaluate us, what is he looking for? He is looking for the love, your receiving of it, walking in it, living loved, and living loving. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son..." Are we reflecting that? Are we living loved and loving as we live together? Is what we are building together and in each of our lives built on God's love?

The love that the church loves with is the love of God, self-giving love of others. The source of the church's love is in God. As we know God, we love like God loves. The people who know God love as God loves. Those who claim knowledge of God, but do not love as God loves have lost their way. Believing or mastering the contents of deep church doctrine is not the main path to knowing God. Having experience in spiritual things is not the main way either. Reading the Bible, reading books about God; going to Bible college, seminary; serving the poor, going on missions trips, or being imprisoned or killed for your faith.... these are all the wrong path to knowing God, if we do not first receive God's love and then grow in God's love that is self giving, towards others. Remember the scripture where Jesus said that certain people did all sorts of things for him, but he says, "I never knew you". They put the cart before the horse. They perhaps did not do the things they did out of love or from the wellspring of God's love.

Love is the main thing. God is love and because God loved us so much, He gave sacrificially His Son, Jesus. Knowledge about Jesus we must know. The ways of God, we desire to know. But first we must receive God's love and keep receiving it. This is what the church must be built on. The way in is the way on. All of Jesus teaching on how to live can only be done or attempted by people who know God by walking in His love. To represent Christ as Christ-ians (folk in Christ), we must be lovers; people who are loved by God, people who are living loved, and people who live in love, loving others the way God loves, seeking the well being of others.

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