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Pastor's Column 5/29/22


“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”

1 Corinthians 13:3, NLT

“We prove ourselves by our purity, our under- standing, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.”

2 Corinthians 6:6, NLT

“It’s All About Love!”

It’s important that whatever we do to help others, is motivated by authentic love. When the Scripture speaks of assisting others in need, it uses the highest expression of love: Agape. This kind of love is unconditional. It does not seek anything for its own benefit. The Apostle Paul was aware, even in his day, that unconditional love was essential to the life of a Christian. Human nature is such that there’s hardly a time a person gives something of value, that they don’t expect to receive something else in return. If the human-return factor is our only motivation for giving, we inevitably “gain nothing.” However, when we are motivated by God’s love to give and assist others, there is a return that God resources. We lack nothing, because God graciously provides. Our missional efforts are essential to the faith community, because they mirror God’s great love for us. Paul said we most reflect Christ’s character when we share “sincere love.” As a youth growing up in North Florida, I was privileged to witness that love that drives missional efforts. One person who comes to mind, is Ms. Eartha Mary Magdalene White. Born in 1876 in Jacksonville, “Miss White,” as she preferred to be called, became an iconic figure in Jacksonville. This daughter of a slave mother, became known as an American humanitarian, philanthropist, and businesswoman. She also was an opera singer, touring Europe; and was a committed Christian. Miss. White had a great love for people, and developed a school, nursing home, and missions center for Blacks. Living a frugal life giving “all “her” money to help others, she died at age 97.

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