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March 8, 2017, 9:34 AM

Perfect Love

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May His perfect love be reflected in us today. May we, as a church, reflect His true holiness in all we do.

The Church of the Nazarene considers herself a “holiness church,” but what exactly does that mean? Holiness is first and always about love. Anything else is a rabbit trail. We often will speak of holiness as living with power, or as living without sin, or as a baptism of the Holly Spirit, but in its purest form holiness is a matter of love. It’s about reflecting God – who is love.

God is love and perfect love is evident in all He does. In fact in Scripture we learn that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).  We also learn that we are called to reflect/imitate this God of perfect, self-sacrificing love. 1 Peter 1:15-16 declares, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” Yet, what exactly does holiness – perfect love – look like in real life for us?

Jesus best sums up holy living when he called us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Whenever one says they love God and neighbor, and means it, they have turned a corner in their religion, and that reality will be apparent in their daily living.

Steve Deniff observes, “There are three instances in the Gospels where someone is said to love Jesus, and in each instance love is expressed differently. So while true love may have many expressions, these three episodes provide a baseline from which our love may be measured. The first episode takes place in the house of a good Pharisee named Simon. There a woman pours out her love on the feet of Christ (Luke 7:36-50). The second episode takes place only hours before Christ’s death when the tells his disciples to show their love by obeying him (John 14:15). The third episode takes place on the shores of Galilee after the Resurrection, when Jesus answers Peter’s affirmation (“Lord, you know that I love you”) with the command to feed Christ’s sheep (John 21:17).” Thus, perfect love is most clearly demonstrated in us when we 1.) spend ourselves completely in pursuit of Christ, 2.) place His will and desires above our own, and 3.) feed/care for His sheep. So, how are we doing in each of these areas today?

Let us pray together: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people and kindle in us the fire of your perfect love. Bring us rest and renewal, through Christ our Lord, I pray. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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