Walk in Love said 2 John 6 – a key theme of his ‘Little John’ letters.
But How? By walking in obedience silly! It is difficult to think of ways to be loving in disobedience. That is because truly loving someone is actually about putting them before ourselves. If they ask you to do something that you don’t want to do, then being obedient to them would mean putting their will before our own. That is a demonstration of love.
But hold on, what if they ask you to do something that is wrong? Well, doing something wrong is hardly loving?!
John agrees, that is why he says walk in love, by walking in obedience to the truth (2 John 4).
It strikes me that one of the reasons that our world is confused about love, is because generally it does not want to be obedient to anyone before themselves, and further it is confused about truth – in fact, it can’t love well!
Our world is not clear on truth, so it doesn’t know who to obey, so it fails to love!
Let’s be a Church family that actually loves, because it obeys what it knows is God’s truth.
‘Hello Neighbour’ is one of the ways that we can attempt to love others. The aim of this 5pm Church mission is to reach others to love and serve those who don’t yet know Jesus.
There is something for everyone at 5pm Church – if you choose to love as 2 John has instructed.
Love by praying for those in your sphere of contact. Love by inviting them for a meal in your home. Love by providing for those on the streets, love by inviting our city dwelling neighbours to share with us at church. Love by serving those at the SAHMRI.
Tips for Gospel Conversations
Given this month of mission at 5pm Church, I thought we might benefit by some tips for a having a conversation about your faith. My prayer is that you might be encouraged to have a go at saying ‘Hello Neighbour’.
- Give yourself some grace – don’t fear a conversation just because you could stuff it up. We all do (not just in matters of faith). That is not the end of the world.
- Be compassionate – just love them humbly.
- Remember in the gospel you have answers that the world can’t match. You might not know how to always offer that answer, but don’t be ashamed of the faith you stand for. Don’t hide.
- Focus on people’s separation from God – instead of their morality. The bigger issue is that they are lost, not that they are intellectually confused or ethically compromised.
- Be intentional in your conversation – plan what you will say so you are not awkward or offensive. It will still feel awkward.
- Acknowledge what you know, and be honest in what you don’t – but don’t give up on a discussion too easily, you probably know more than you realize.
- Ask permission of them to issue an invitation – either to talk about spiritual things or to ask them along to something.
- Ask lots of questions and be a good listener. Often your questions can expose the faults in their views.
- Look for open doors and pray for open door.
- Be real, be yourself – as long as that is not a chicken!
- Have fun. Loving others is good.