Editor's note: The 10:30 a.m. Sunday service is our last at 825 Ninth St. W. 10:30 a.m. We move to our new location at 3700 26th St. W., Bradenton, for the 11 a.m. service Sunday, Jan. 31.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
-- 1 John 4:7-11
"The profile of the Kingdom is the other cheek"
To reflect the image and nature of God to the world, we must be a people who radiate the love of Jesus Christ, for the strategy of the Kingdom is love. To be like Jesus we must love people unconditionally no matter who they are, group they adhere to, what they are going through and no matter what they are putting you through.
"Jesus sees two people groups, those that know the love of God and those who need to know the love of God. The first group is responsible for the second."
In the church's quest to advance the cause of Christ, demonstrate His Kingdom with power and bring solutions to the kingdoms of this world with the wisdom of Heaven, love must be the tactic of choice to accomplish this mission, for love never fails.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
-- Corinthians 13:1
The church must regain the sound the world heard on the Day of Pentecost. A sound that transcends all culture, race, religious backgrounds, economic and educational levels. It was the sound of heaven speaking unconditional love to whosoever will. It is a sound that causes the lost to run to Jesus rather than the religious noise, rhetoric, and rules that push them away. We are to be a light that shines drawing them out of darkness, not a light that blinds plunging them in deeper.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?
And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?
Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
-- Acts 2:5-11
God's love is the power plant of the City on a Hill that cannot be hidden flowing from our Father in Heaven to and through us as Christ's Ambassadors to planet earth.
The church is in an hour where we need to cry out to God asking Him to create in us a new heart, the heart of the Father. We need to ask for a heart that beats with unconditional love, a heart that accepts whosoever will, and a heart that is broken for the lost and those broken in the Body of Christ.
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
-- Galatians 5:6.
Don Sturiano, pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, can be reached by calling 941-776-0026. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday's Herald, written by local clergy members.