by: Deanna Lamb
Each year at BCC, we ask Jesus to help us focus on becoming more like Him. One of the ways we do this is by having a theme to guide the year. In past years, the themes have provided a wonderful common goal for everyone at BCC. We have fun creating visual reminders, banners, and props. This year's theme is Upward. Inward. Outward. The scripture reference is Matthew 22:37-39. When someone asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment of all. He answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
From that scripture, we can know that it is critical to put God first in everything. He loves us with a perfect, life-changing love. He sacrificed everything to demonstrate His love for us. When we love God with all of our heart, souls, and mind, we will be transformed from the inside out! We will no longer be chasing after cheap imitations of love, acceptance, and belonging. We will understand how deeply we are loved and how valuable our lives are. When we receive that transforming identity through Jesus, we love ourselves with an honest, pure love. We see the true value of our lives and our purpose in living. We were created to look like Jesus, and to share the Kingdom of heaven with the world!!
The natural expression of receiving God's love and loving our selves will be a life that is motivated by love itself. Loving others with the love of Jesus becomes an automatic habit, rather than an effort. But, if we do not live from the place of relationship with God first, then the rest of our lives will be plagued with constant strife, chaos, rejection, and conflict. We will reach for substitutions for peace and comfort. The substitutions become addictions, bad relationships, co-dependency, and self hate.
In 2018, join us at BCC as we pursue God in a personal, loving way. Join us as we aim to LIVE and LOVE UPWARD to our Father, which will lead us to an accurate and pure LOVE for ourselves INWARD, and we will grow more loving and free to LIVE and LOVE others OUTWARD.