We love God, the church, the city, and the nations.
We love God.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” – Matthew 22:37-38 (ESV)
Our life as a church begins and ends with the love of God: His love for us and ours for Him. Our ability to love one another, the city of Austin, and the nations is only possible if we abide in this, our first love.
We love the church.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. – John 13:34 (ESV)
When the world sees our love for one another, they get a glimpse of what God’s love is like.
We love the city.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. – Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)
When God’s love transforms us, it’s impossible to contain it within the walls of our homes or church. His love will overflow into real, tangible love for our neighbors across the street and across town.
We love the nations.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
One day, believers from every ethnic group, every culture, and every country will worship with one voice before the throne of God. It is a breathtaking vision! Until that day comes, Jesus calls all of His followers to go and make disciples in those nations here and now.
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