Joe Stowell gave four messages, titled A New Community People (maybe one long message broken into four parts). http://getmorestrength.org/ One, two, three, four.
He has many good and useful things to say.
The general theme is Jesus’ new commandment to love one another as he loved us and using that agape love to build community.
Text is John 13: 1-17. Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.
He provides two lists I like.
Agape Love …
- is a choice (not a feeling)
- is non-reciprocal
- takes initiative (not a response)
- is intentional (plan, a decision)
- is sacrificial
- is unconditional
- is others-focused.
These are good descriptions of what agape love is.
We need to love “the unlovable.” (Note that’s in quotes. With agape love, there are no ‘unlovable.’)
Our Game Plan Is to Love
- Regardless of time
- Regardless of talent
- Regardless of class and culture
- Regardless of temperament (You don’t have to like someone to love them. Love transcends temperament and preferences.)
- In spite of our failures
- With great deep sacrificial love.
The End Game is
Our love (and resulting actions) are a testimony to a watching world. John 13:34-35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Notice that the two great commandments and the great commission are again intertwined.