If you have been around Canaan Church for long you likely can recall that loving God and loving people is a priority in our lives. It is often pointed out that the opposite of love is selfishness. Love is giving. Selfishness is getting, keeping, protecting, guarding, and securing for our own benefit. Love is exemplified in the coming of Jesus and in His giving His life for our salvation.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 emphasis added)
Jesus said, "No one has taken it (My life) away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. . . ." (John 10:18)
Love underlies the attitudes and actions found in the commands to follow the example of Jesus as recorded in Philippians 2:3-5
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
Regarding (considering) others more important than ourselves is the love that is to be active in our assembling together in our church meetings.
“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 emphasis added)
Whether we are meeting together, or in times like this when we are not, we are to love one another by thinking about how we can encourage each other to love one another and do good for each other. The command, and the challenge for us, is to look beyond ourselves and focus on helping others. The challenge is to set aside our fears and to love one another.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. . . . (1 John 4:18-19)
So how might we demonstrate this type of love? Think about 3-5 people (church folks, family, neighbors). Figure out some way to show love to them that will encourage them to love others and encourage them to do good to others. This may require a little extra thought given the requirements for social distancing. However, when we purposefully think about it I am sure we can clearly demonstrate God's love to those around us in this time.
When we act in love, caring more for others than ourselves, then we have overcome our fears.
Serving with joy,