Thursday, June 2, 2016

LOVING GOD TO THE FOURTH POWER

I pastor a church in Washington DC that is nearly 70 percent single twenty-somethings.  Unfortunately, our demographics are an anomaly.  By and large, twenty-somethings are leaving the church at an alarming rate.  According to some statistics, 61 percent of twenty-somethings who grew up going to church will quit going to church in their twenties.  And the temptation is to ask this question: what’s wrong with this generation?  But that is the wrong question.  The right question is this:  What’s wrong with the church?


My answer is simply this:  we’re not great at the Great Commandment [Luke 10:27].  In too many instances, we’re not even good at it.


That, I believe, is our primal problem.  That is the lost soul of Christianity.  If Jesus said that loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the most important commandment, then doesn’t it logically follow that we ought to spend an inordinate amount of our time and energy trying to understand it and obey it?  We can’t afford to be merely good at the Great Commandment.  We’ve got to be great at the Great Commandment.


The quest for the lost soul of Christianity begins with rediscovering what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Jesus used those four kaleidoscopic words to describe four dimensions of love.  And there is certainly overlap among them.  It’s hard to know where loving God with your heart ends and loving God with your soul begins.  But one thing is sure: loving God in one way isn’t enough.  It’s not enough to love God with just your heart or soul or mind or strength.  We are called, even commanded, to love Him in all four ways.  Think of it as love to the fourth power.


-- Mark Batterson in PRIMAL: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity




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