Each day as I drive home from work, I crest a hill in the neighborhood right before my house and see the Tennessee hills laid out before me as evidence of God’s handiwork and love toward us as His creation. The gorgeous shades of green in the spring and summer are met with the splendor of an autumn palate. There is even a quiet beauty about it all in the winter without a leaf in sight! Sounds great doesn’t it? It is to be sure—all except for that single power line that runs perfectly through my line of sight at the top of the hill. Compared to the majesty and grandeur of that magnificent backdrop, the power line may not be all that important, yet occasionally I find myself sidetracked by its intrusive presence.
There are countless other ways in which we can be distracted and frustrated, sometimes by things and on occasion by people or difficult circumstances. In the process, we miss the grandeur and vital energy of what it means to be in Christ. This letter is your invitation to take some time out, to step back and take in the splendor of your salvation. It’s not as easy as it seems. As we journey on this Agape road individually and corporately as Christ’s body, we are bombarded with clamoring voices, often with good intent. These sounds often distract and can be unnecessarily divisive.
Just before His betrayal, Jesus was with His good friends celebrating the Passover feast and telling them again what was about to occur. He wanted them to make a shift from earthly kingdom, self-centered thinking to seeing themselves invited into the love Father, Son, and Spirit share. With the benefit of the stories of the disciples’ lives, we often think it easier to make this transition to Kingdom thinking, but in reality, we each must make this journey daily in our lives. It can become difficult the more we learn and “add to our pile” to sustain our bearing. Maintaining the center of Agape is crucial to really knowing the Lord.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
With all of the surrounding theology and doctrine about Christ-following, we can sometimes miss a key piece of the story and allow it to be overshadowed by one or all of the seven giants—Look Good, Feel Good, Be Right, Stay in Control, Hidden Motives, Personal Interest and Remaining Undisturbed. Whenever we bow to their pressure, we become distracted from the vital energy of love, even though Agape is the very tool we are given to make God known in the earth! Strange thing that we aren’t known as Christ-followers by our hermeneutics or exegesis! Instead it is simply our Agape for one another that wins people’s hearts.
We invite you to see afresh with us the call of Christ to extend Agape to all creation and not be sidetracked by distractions that keep us from seeing the majesty and grandeur of all that Father, Son, and Spirit are busy about in the earth.
Grateful to make this journey with you,