"We love because he first loved us." - 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
- Matthew 22:37 (NIV)
We believe God took the initiative in reaching out to us. He did this in the person of Jesus Christ. The greatest experession of God's love was Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8). Three days later, God proved that Jesus had fully paid sin's penalty (death - Romans 6:23) by raising Jesus from the dead. Through that sacrifice, forgiveness for sin is provided, which we can receive through repentance toward God and faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21). Now, having come into a personal relationship with God, knowing the greatness of the love of God motivates us to love Him supremely and love other sacrificially.
This is why we gather weekly to worship God. Worship is one way in which we express our love for God and contemplate His love for us. Through worship, we are confronted afresh as a congregation with the love, majesty, holiness, and grace of God; which causes us to grow in our love for Him and frees us to be able to love others.
WE LOVE PEOPLE
"If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends."
- Philippians 2:1-2 (The Message)
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." - John 13:35 (NLT)
"Love your neighbor as yourself." - Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
In the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40), Jesus tells us as His followers to not only love God, but to love people. This includes our fellow Christ followers, but also those who have not yet chosen to follow Christ.
This is why we gather weekly in Connection Groups. It is through sharing life in close proximity with one another that we learn how to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Around God's Word, we have opportunity to know each other, pray for one another, support one another, and encourage each other toward becoming more like Jesus. But if our focus in only on ourselves, then we are not loving people as we should. We must also love a lost world. Which is why . . .
WE SHARE JESUS
"We are ruled by Christ’s love for us. We are certain that if one person died for everyone else, then all of us have died. And Christ did die for all of us. He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died and was raised to life for us." - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (CEV)
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations (people) baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
- Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
If the greatest expression of God's love for this world was the gift of His Son (John 3:16), then the greatest expression of our love as Christ followers for this world is to share with them about the gift of God's Son the the relationship with God that it makes possible. We are committed to expressing God's love for this world by endeavoring to let as many people know as possible about the love of God expressed through the sacrifice of His Son for our sins so that we might have a new life through personal relationship with Him.