Archive for the Hope Bible Fellowship Church Category

They Will Know We Are Christians . . .

Posted in Hope Bible Fellowship Church, Love, Preaching on 21 January 2010 by Barbara J. Brooks

The message God laid on my heart to preach last Sunday was on love. I never expected or planned to preach on this subject. I believe my motivation was my horror at Pat Robertson’s uninformed, narrow-minded, and hateful condemnation of the people of Haiti. We have all heard the sermons about love, and it seems that there is little else to say. The command resonates throughout Scripture and is the motivation and foundation for our relationship with Christ. Love, like forgiveness, is one of the critical basics we tend to neglect in our zeal for more and more facts about God and about the Bible.

It was not a profound or fiery sermon. I even felt, at times, that I was not connecting with the congregation. I have felt much more moved by other topics God has led me to share. But for some reason, this message has stayed with me. It is convicting me about both relationships and fleeting encounters alike. One thing we must remember is what is taught in John 13:34-35. The mark of Christian identity is always love. No matter how eager we are or how necessary or valid it is for us to quote Scripture, operate in our gifts, or speak in tongues, the world should be able to identify us as disciples of Christ because of the love that we demonstrate towards one another. If we are not walking in love in our relationships with our brothers and sisters, something is very wrong that we first need to confess and be convicted about, and then we need to fix it. When I say “we need to fix it,” do know that I understand that only the power of God can fix what is out of order in us. But love is a command. The onus is ours, through submission, prayer, obedience, and humility, to fix relationships with our brothers and sisters that do not reflect love. For John also states in his first letter (1 John 4:20-21) that if we do not love our brothers, we do not love God. Protest if you will, but God knows us and He knows our heart. Therein lay the conviction for me!