From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

A Powerful Witness

Sometimes I wonder how I can possibly make known the love and reality of Jesus to others. I mean, what is the best way to share the good news of Jesus with those in our circles of influence? How can we show them that Jesus really is the Son of God and that he really does love them? How can we plug them into this reality? Because the truth is that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not some fairy-tale, it is a real, historical event. It is an event that changed everything. And we at BPCC want people to know this and come to understand that they can be reconciled to their Creator and Heavenly Father. 
One way that we can point others to this reality is actually by the way that we love one another in the church! Jesus taught this in the Gospel of John:
‘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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:34-35)
This might seem confusing at first. How is it that our love for each other as a community actually benefits those outside the church? How does something that sounds inward-focused actually have an outward effect?  Well the way it benefits those outside is by the way it authenticates the truth of the gospel. Our love for one another in the church is a powerful witness to the truth that a loving God has touched our lives. It is a testimony to the fact that God’s love has been poured out to us through Jesus. It should make people think twice before rejecting Christianity as some kind of fairy-tale. Our love for one another adorns the gospel that we believe.
And this love isn’t some airy-fairy, pat-on-the-back kind of love. The whole reason it baffles outsiders is because it is a love that they have never known. It is the radical love of Jesus. Jesus commands his disciples to love one another as he has loved them. He commands us to embody the kind of love that ultimately led to him to lay down his life for us. Woah!... This both excites me and scares me. Imagine if our community embodied this? But yet, who can possibly match the love of Jesus? 
We firstly need to remember that our love and actions don’t define our right-standing before God. The gospel tells us that because of what Jesus did we are accepted by God. We don’t obey Jesus’ command in John 13 because we want God’s acceptance, we obey it because we have been accepted!
Still, how do we imitate the love of Jesus? I think the secret lies in Jesus’ words ‘as I have loved you’. The disciples Jesus was speaking to in John 13 knew Jesus and walked with him. They experienced his love for them. And I think this shows us what we need to do today. We need to stop and look again at the glorious love of Jesus. We need to stop and stare again at God’s love poured out for us at the cross. Believe it, receive it, abide in it; and then seek to share it. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). I hope people throughout north Brisbane will see our community wherever we might be—whether we meet to encourage each other at a café, whether we are at a Parkrun on a Saturday, or helping a friend from church fix their car—and that they may see God’s love working through us. We love because he first loved us. 
Grace to you,
Ben.
 
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