Pastor Mike Dedera was preaching on love this weekend at JBC. The kind of love that Jesus had when He died on the cross for each of us – self sacrificing love. There are a number of definitions for love which would correspond to the different kinds of love.” I love ice cream ” would certainly be different than “I love Patty”. The average person loves others with a conditional love, which really means I really, really like you a lot because you make me happy. So as long as you make me happy my “love” continues, but if you no longer make me happy I will “fall out of love with you”. It is a good thing that isn’t the kind of love that God has for us or we would all be in trouble. God’s love for me endures, it is unconditional, that is it doesn’t depend on my performance, God’s love is always giving and sacrificing for my needs. The admonition for husbands in the Bible is “husbands, love your wives the same way Jesus loves the church and gave His life for the Church”. I am supposed to love like Jesus loves, whooooooeeeeeeeee!
I have been praying every day with great fervency since our anniversary celebration last October of me being the pastor for 40 years at JBC , “Lord, I want to bear more fruit in the next ten years of my life than I did in the previous 40 years”. When I started praying that prayer I was the main preacher at JBC, but Pastor Mike has taken that over because of difficulties I am having with my voice. Now I am in charge of Small Groups, leadership training, staff, and following up on visitors. The challenge of accomplishing more in the next 10 years than I did in the previous 40 has gotten to be much more of a challenge. Last night at our Saturday night service as I was listening to Pastor Mike preach on self sacrificing love I decided that I was going to stop praying that prayer, instead I am going to pray “Dear Lord, I pray that Pastor Mike will bear more fruit in the next 10’years than I did in the previous 40”. That feels good, and right.