It’s a new month and a new year. And this is a new installment of our Pastor to Pastor feature. Pastor Chris Bambrough is Founding Pastor of Strong Tower Church in Cochran, Georgia. Strong Tower began holding services on January 31, 2016, and was officially chartered on June 12 of that same year. Chris and Crystal, his wife, possess sincere hearts to advance the Kingdom of God. Along with their staff, they are committed to bringing a never-changing Word to an ever-changing world. Learn more about them here or read his blog here. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his chocolate-covered thoughts in today’s guest post.
In John 15:10, Jesus says: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” Notice here that Jesus does not say that we will “experience” or “feel” His love. He doesn’t even say that we will abide WITH His love.
Jesus very plainly says that, if we keep His commandments, we will abide (live, inhabit, exist) IN His love. To me, that little word means a whole lot.
In just about a month, it will be Valentine’s Day (men, there’s your warning). One of my favorite Valentine’s treats is none other than the chocolate covered cherry. For those of you who have never had one (really?), it’s a cherry surrounded by a sweet syrup surrounded by chocolate. It’s a nice treat because even though you know the cherry is in there when you bite into it, it always kind of surprises your taste buds.
When I read John 15:10, I think of how we, if we keep His commandments, are like those cherries. Here we are abiding IN the love of Jesus. Every speck of our soul and heart are cloaked in the love of Jesus. We can’t turn to the left or the right without running smack dab into more of His love. What an amazing and wonderful place to be!
In our world people repeatedly turn to pornography, multiple sex partners, and all sorts of deviant acts pushing the envelope of decency in an attempt to discover real love. Christians who keep the commandments of Christ, can’t escape the purest and truest love mankind will ever know. It is the promise of the One that showed the greatest act of love to an unworthy world. We are the redeemed of God, and our dwelling place, our habitat, our home is suspended in and surrounded by the love of the Savior.
There’s one other thing about living in the love of Jesus that should be very appealing to you as a Christian. If you think about that cherry, when you pull it out of the box to enjoy it, it shows no indication of being a cherry. Unless a fancy confectioner decided to get cutesy with it, the candy does not resemble a cherry at all. All you see is what is surrounding the cherry.
When we are covered in and surrounded by the love of Jesus Christ, we cannot be seen without first seeing Jesus.
So often in the past, I have prayed, “Lord, let the world look past my faults and failures and see You instead.” Then I realized that if I am keeping His commandments, the world won’t need to look past me to see Him. They will see Jesus well before they even get to me because I will be surrounded by His love. He is my covering, my identity.
The world will have no choice but to see Jesus if you exist IN His love.
Now go buy the love of your life some chocolate covered cherries. They’re really good!
If you find yourself in or near the Cochran, Georgia area, do yourself a favor and step into Strong Tower Church. I’m confident that you will enjoy the gifted preaching, anointed music, and warm hospitality of this congregation.