February is always a month where people toss around the word “love.” We toss it around the other eleven months of the year too, but in February we have a holiday just for love: Valentine’s Day. In general, I think it’s a great thing that we take time to remember those we love and show them that we love them. But what do we mean when we say, “love?” In the New Testament, the word most used for love is “agape,” which we translate as “love” but could be better translated as “unconditional commitment.” That’s the kind of love that God has for us, which resulted in Him sending Jesus to save us. It’s also the kind of love we are to have for one another.
Well, it just so happens that on Valentine’s Day we read the first chapter of the New Testament in our 2-year quest to read the Bible called GodSpeak. Words cannot express how amazing this journey has been to read the Old Testament together. Our church has grown in understanding and discipleship and I have grown right along with you. We want as many people as possible to experience these blessings, so we’re all going to re-commit to reading the New Testament together. Look in this newsletter for a commitment form or go on our website under GodSpeak and find one there. Let’s have even more people reading the New Testament with us!
God has blessed us with a great new way for our congregation to interact with one another called the TableProject. I’m confident that using the Table will enhance our fellowship as we pray for one another, share our stories and live church together. We’re one of 50 churches piloting this new software that promises to be a blessing to many more churches when it goes public. Already, we’ve been blessed as we’ve had opportunities to pray for people and situations that we may have never heard about otherwise. Now, I know new technologies can be intimidating. We want every Bethel member on the Table, and I assure you, if you want to join us we’ll do everything we can to help you.
Love One Another
We usually reserve Valentine’s Day wishes to a spouse, children or to those we’re told by our parents to give Valentine’s Day cards to. God calls upon us to love one another as He has loved us. When we read the Bible together in GodSpeak, we’re constantly reminded how much God loves us. We can show our love for each other as we pray for one another on the Table. That’s just the beginning. Perhaps this Valentine’s Day will be your opportunity to reflect God’s unconditional commitment to you in someone else’s life. This February, don’t just toss around the word “love,” say it, mean it, and show it.
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:11