Albert Ellis, the esteemed American psychologist noted, “The art of love is largely the art of persistence.” There’s something about love that drives us to keep loving – to press through – no matter the obstacles.“The art of love is largely the art of persistence.” - Albert Ellis #lovenakuru Click To Tweet
This type of love, often depicted in romantic comedies, but sometimes absent in real life, is the type of love that God displays for every single person. It’s also the type he wants us to offer others.
But loving people, it turns out, is hard. Even people we really like can sometimes prove hard to love. And those we don’t like? Most of us don’t even bother.
But Jesus had a different perspective. In fact, Jesus looked around and realized that even the most vile and depraved people have the ability to love those who are kind to them, or who have something to offer. Jesus’ command was to not just love the people who love you back, but to love everyone.
You see, Jesus knew that “perfect love drives out fear,” and that fear often plays a huge role in the way we interact with others. In fact, the person you like the least is probably operating from a place of fear – a place of insecurity and doubt, a place of self-loathing. They may mask it with bravado and a sharp tongue, but rip off the facade, and you’ll likely find fear.
But the kind of love Jesus modeled is the kind that drives out fear. It’s the kind that tears down the facade and then doesn’t recoil at the reality hiding behind it. The perfect love of Jesus is a love that embraces the brokenness of others and welcomes them with open arms.
You know, Jesus wasn’t very good at following rules. He liked to hang out with the wrong crowd, he had a tendency to touch unclean and unwanted people, to talk to people he wasn’t supposed to talk to, and generally, to favor love and relationship over a strict adherence to dogma.
Some people get a little squeamish at this picture of Jesus. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day certainly did. They accused him of being a drunkard, of being possessed by a demon, and of being an enemy of God. What they failed to realize is that he was the very embodiment of the God they claimed to serve. And that God loves people.
In the city of Nakuru, Kenya, there are countless people who don’t know that God loves them. Some are poor and some are rich. Some are local and some are international. Some adhere to different faith traditions, some sit in church every Sunday, and some have written off spirituality entirely.
Our message for the people of Nakuru is simple. “God loves you, and there’s nothing you can do to change his mind.”God loves you, and there’s nothing you can do to change his mind. #lovenakuru Click To Tweet
Like the message of Jesus 2000 years ago, this concept of radical love and grace is difficult for some to handle today. There are those who like to use rigid rules to keep people living in fear, and to keep them shackled in servitude to a religious system.
But Jesus came to bring freedom to the captives, and he’s asked us to do the same.
Our #lovenakuru campaign is a modern way of telling a timeless story – that the God of love, mercy, grace, and compassion wants to have a relationship with the people of Nakuru. He loves this city, and he has called our new church, Trinity Vineyard Church Nakuru, to love this city with him.
Through the tools of the modern age – websites, email, video, and social media – we are inviting our friends from around the world to join us as we #lovenakuru
We’re on a mission to show radical love to those around us, and if their notions of church include a stodgy list of rules, an overly-authoritative pastor, or an angry, vengeful God, then it’s our job to paint a different picture of the church for them.
Ours is a church that welcomes all, loves all, and invites all into a relational community full of grace. Our desire is to help people find friends, find God, and find life – the kind of abundant life we were all created to live.
Will you join us in spreading the word? Please help us #lovenakuru