Sunday, December 14

The missing love factor

If love is what God most wants of us, and if love is what we most want in return from others; why do we spend so much time, energy, and money (check out this Geoff Baggett post) on things that are not about loving God, or loving one another?

I invite you to take the following church quiz from Jonathan Brink.

1. I would rather go to a church that:

(A) Had great worship
(B) There was love.

2. I would rather go to a small group that:

A: Had cool people.
B: There was love.

3. I would rather participate in community that:

(A) Had lots of programs
(B) There was love.

4. I would rather attend a function that:

(A) Was hip and entertaining
(B) There was love.

5. I would rather be lead by:

(A) A really smart person.
(B) Someone who loved.

How did you do on the quiz?

In all our strategies, methodologies, planning, programs, structures, are we missing the main ingredient of love? Does complicating something make it better? Why do we think that clutter and more activity is what people need/want?

As we approach a new year, I intend to use the "love factor" as a filter for everything we decide to do. Before embarking on yet another busy schedule, does the activity encourage a greater love for God? Are we really loving others in a way that they "feel" loved?

Do you think the focus of the activities, programs, gatherings you are involved with foster genuine love for God and others?

9 comments:

John Umland said...

I love this post...
God is good
jpu

John Marklew said...

Guy

I really love your posts over the last couple of months. The Lord has put us in an "Adullams cave" (to coin a previous post) for the last year and we are just starting to get to the Love bit. It can be very hard, but I suppose true love is never easy.

One of our groups here in the UK is held in the flat of a redeemed ex-male prostitute/pimp and he summed it up wonderfully a couple of weeks ago when he said that for the first time in his life he had a family. He knew he was loved, redeemed and trusted.

Thats what makes all the hard work and heartache worthwhile - who needs silver and gold, or even programs and great worship bands when you have love.

Bless you Guy, your work and blog is a great inspiration and encouragement.

John Marklew

GuyMuse said...

John U,

Long time no hear from you! Glad you to see you check in. Click on the original link above for Jonathan's full post and comments.

John M,

Thanks for the kind words. Glad to hear a little about what the Lord is doing with and through you guys there in the UK. Do you have a blog or website? I'd love to hear more of the kinds of things God is showing you guys.

Burkhalter Ministry said...

Guy... I think that you are a person that gives Love to others. I know Travis and I and Michael and Ann- would agree that we felt very loved by you and Linda. You are a good listener, patient, kind, wise and gentle. Thanks for being such a great example for us.
Beth

GuyMuse said...

Beth,

Thanks for the kind words, but we feel it is you guys who have shown us so much love, attention, and encouragement. We appreciate so much all your kindnesses this past summer. You are exactly the kind of church we would love to be part of if we lived here in the States!

Cam said...

I've responded here.
I don't know how to use trackbacks, sorry.

GuyMuse said...

Cam,

A good post. I encourage everyone to click on your highlighted link and read what you have to say. I responded to you there. Some of what you are trying to express is something I attempted to say with my previous post The church within the church. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Guy,
Thanks so much for this post! It lead me to reflect upon love. As I looked in the concordance of my bible, I found 326 scripture references on love!! Wow! If we are missing the factor...Love...we are missing everything. Several scriptures came to the forefront for me. I posted them below. Praying for you and your family.

Blessings,
Teresa Allen
allen@onmissionwithgod.org

John 3:16..."For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Romans 5:8 " But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

Deut 6:5 " Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Eph 5:1-2 " Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

1 Corinthians 13. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

GuyMuse said...

Teresa,

Thanks for stopping by, and for the great Scripture references on love. I agree, if we miss out on the love part, all the rest will be as a "clanging cymbal." How are you guys doing these days?