The question of when we will be gathering together again has been the subject of much prayer and discussion by our church’s leadership. We are asking God for wisdom as we attempt to follow the guidelines of New York State and New York City regarding the timing for reopening our church campus. At the same time, we are making plans and putting protocols in place to ensure your safety and well-being when we are able to meet again. Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available.  

In the meantime, we hope that you will continue to join us for Tuesday Prayer Onlinebeginning at 7pm; Sunday Worship Online, beginning at 9am; and weekday Devotions Onlinebeginning at 10am. We also invite you to check the Churchwide Announcements on our home page to learn about additional online events for each member of your family.

As I Have Loved You

Friday, March 6, 2020

 “‘My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.’”  (John 15:12 NIV)

Jesus has just told his disciples the amazing truth that he loves them as the Father loves him.  He then tells them that he wants them to abide in, or live and rest in, the consciousness of his love for them by obeying his commandments.  But Jesus isn’t talking legalism here, for he narrows the commandments down to one command:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”  This makes sense, for God is love.  As the Father loves the Son, so Jesus loves us; and as Jesus loves us, so are we to love one another. 

To be surrounded by a consciousness of the love of God, therefore, is to live a life of love for God and for others.  But the minute I start to be selfish, not thinking of others and their needs—or, worse, if I wrong a brother or sister—I automatically begin to lose the feeling of his love.  How can I enjoy the presence of God’s love when I’m not practicing love toward other people that he loves … when I’m no longer walking in obedience to his command and, thus, not abiding in his love? 

The Scripture doesn’t say that when we disobey, God doesn’t love us anymore, for his love is unconditional; but we do lose the peace and joy that come along with having a sense of his love.  It’s at those times of vulnerability that the devil whispers, “Go to church more, and then God will love you,” but that’s not it at all.  What we have to do at that point is to repent and say, “I’m sorry,” for having, perhaps, said something unloving to a brother or sister.  We can then have that peace restored with others and within. 

The Apostle Paul wrote the following words to the church in Ephesus:  “Be imitators of God, therefore, … and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us…” (Ephesians 5:1-2).  Let’s ask God to help us live a life of love, by his Holy Spirit, and we will be surrounded by a consciousness of his everlasting love for us.

Read John 15:9-17.

The Prayer Center