Authentic Christian Love

Authentic Christian Love

We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
 

Authentic Christian love is unique.  It exists in a heart that celebrates the new life found only through faith in Jesus Christ.  Authentic Christian love is supernatural.  It is completely the work of God’s grace and is fueled by the Holy Spirit living inside of us.  This love does not seek to earn God’s favor by what we do, but instead longs to magnify God’s goodness in all that he has made us to be.  God’s love for us is beyond compare and is the catalyst for everything good in our lives.  Authentic Christian love is radical.  
 

As I am typing this message, I cannot help but think of specific families in our church who are modeling this type of authentic Christian love in their care for orphaned children.  I am so thankful for God’s grace in their lives.  Here are just a few (of many!) examples: 
 
One couple, despite a crazy season of life with busy jobs, graduate school and two small kids, became certified last year as foster parents.  Not because they needed more to do, but because they love Christ and long to serve him by loving those in need.  I found out today (3/9) that Social Services placed them with a two-week old infant this afternoon.  They didn’t know the call would come.  They don’t know what will happen with this child tomorrow or next week.  They probably will not sleep much tonight.  Yet, God’s love compels them to act.  Christian love is unique. 

Another couple in our church, with little information and on short notice, recently adopted a Liberian boy who was facing dire circumstances.  They had no idea how he would adjust to their family or receive them as parents.  Yet, because of their love for Christ, they willingly opened their hearts and lives to him no matter what the outcome.  In the months since arriving in their home, God’s grace in this situation has been profound.  This young boy recently placed his faith in Christ and was baptized last week! Christian love is supernatural. 

Lastly, another couple from our church was required to move out of state last year for work.  However, with their move came an unexpected work bonus.  Rather than spend the money on themselves, they gave over $15,000 to pay for the adoption I mentioned above.  Not for lack of their own financial needs or for personal recognition.  Instead, they gave out of an overflow of love for Jesus Christ and a desire to exalt his name through adoption.  Christian love is radical. 
 
At Redeemer Bible Church we long to model the sacrificial love of Christ in everything we do.  While caring for orphans is just one of many biblical ways to express this love, I would urge you to consider how you might become involved.  This Sunday after the 11:00 service, we will have a meeting to talk about our church’s Orphan Care Ministry.  Whether you are new to this ministry or are already plugged in, we invite you to come and hear from others, share your own story, and deepen our fellowship in the fulfillment of this biblical mandate.
 
We love because He first loved us.
 
In Christ,
 
Justin Woodruff

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