As we come together to worship today, here are a few things to consider as we are getting ready; First, the common goal of ministry is love. It is our responsibility to emulate, communicate, and instruct a gospel-centered community that is full of love and grace for the undeserving. This is formed in and comes from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith of every born-again believer by the Spirit of God. (1 Timothy 1:5) This is where we find and build leaders and believers as we welcome one another as Christ welcomes us, in hope of seeing the lost come to faith. (Romans 15:7; Matthew 28:18-20) 

Second, the antithesis of having a culture of love is a culture of fear. This is born out of an impure heart, guilty conscience, and dead works. We are not called to be fearful we are called to be free. John the Beloved writes; “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.” (1 John 4:18–21) Fear and love cannot coexist in any type of harmony. You and I are called to love God and others. Remember we cannot serve two masters. Will it be love or fear? For we will serve one or the other. (see Matthew 6:24)

Finally, we can experience culture drift over time. Moving from love to fear because of neglect, change, or tragedy. When these things happen we can lose focus and drift from our first love; Jesus (Revelation 2:4). This is the reason for Paul’s instruction to Timothy about the reason for the commandment is love. May we never forget it! Take the time today to love God, love others, and have a lot of fun while you do it. Remember today to; “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)