This weekend at Northeast we had an amazing guest named Bob Goff who delivered one of the most inspiring sermons I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s not up online yet, but as soon as it is I’ll be sure to add the link.
His message was simple, but it managed to encompass everything I’ve been feeling over the last few months.
Jesus wants us to love people.
That’s it. Just love them. Love weird people, love creepy people, love annoying people, love needy people, love disabled people, love poor people, love rich people, love gay people, love straight people, love black people, love Hispanic people, love Republicans, love Democrats, love people on welfare, love people with drug addictions, love Muslims, love immigrants, love terrorists, love people who hate you, love people that only call you to swear at you, love people that are unlovable.
No qualifiers. No, “I love you, but…” No “I love you, but your sin…”
NONE OF THAT.
That’s not Jesus’ love.
It’s Jesus’ job to convict people. It’s Jesus’ job to bring them to Him. Our job is only to love.
That is literally it. Just love. Extravagantly. Beautifully. Over and above what we think is necessary.
Just love people.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
This is my new favorite verse. This is the ONLY thing that counts. The ONLY THING. That means that someone's ethnicity, their citizenship status, their sexual orientation, their political views, the sins they used to commit or are still committing- none of that matters. How much you volunteer at church or how often you read your Bible, that doesn't matter either. (Those obviously aren't bad things, but they're not what matters most.)
If you think it does, you're not loving like Christ.
We're called only to love.
And to love extravagantly.
Loving extravagantly doesn't mean loving from a distance, or in theory, or in your mind. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Expressing. It's a verb. It requires action. It doesn't count unless you love them directly, in person, face-to-face.
So go. Love. And show the world what Christ is really all about.