Now that is a good question! Jon Tyson, the Lead Pastor of Trinity Grace Church in Manhattan, gave me an answer yesterday at our Church Planter's Conference. Here's what he said: "The fundamental task of the pastor is to help people remain in the love of God." Think about that!
Jon was reflecting on the church of Ephesus which Jesus both commended and chastised in the book of Revelation. Our Lord's critique was not laziness, because the church worked hard. His frustration was not about biblical ignorance, because they held to the truth. What bothered Jesus was that the church left their first love (click here to read the passage).
Let me ask you, "How's your love for God today?"
If it is not what it should be, I want to remind you of what God reminds us. We can't really love God by trying harder. We love God by dwelling on just how much he loves us. John writes: We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19 ESV).
As I listened to Jon Tyson talk yesterday, he encouraged me to dwell on how much God loves me. Here are two passages in the Bible that begin to provide clarity on that great truth. Don't pass by them too quickly.
- I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:23 ESV)
- And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.. (Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV)
Read this slowly: God loves me as much as he loves Jesus. His love cannot be measured. It is too wide and long and high and deep. It surpasses knowledge. It seems too good to be true, but it is not. God loves you that much!
Rest in that love today.