Faith Hope Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13.1-8+13

Healthy trees grow healthy fruit. Healthy church grows healthy fruitfulness.

It starts with with our experiences (or lack of) of Faith Hope and Love - our identity in Jesus and our spiritual and holistic well-being. Our expressions of Faith Hope and Love point to our calling and our ministry and the way we inspire others with Faith Hope and Love shows our purpose and mission.

At MCC we look less at numbers and attendance etc., instead focus on what matters most - what will remain, when everything else fades: Faith Hope and Love.

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Faith

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.[1]

Faith is not blind trust, but based on God’s proven faithfulness. It combines the ‘knowing by faith’ (intellectual agreement) that something is true and trustworthy, with acting upon that knowledge (trust).

Faith experienced: We experience the trustworthiness and faithfulness of God through creation, the community of his followers and others or directly from Him; by faith we have confidence to draw near to God;[2] by faith we understand and know that God is.

 

Faith expressed: We express faith by being a faithful representative of God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness; being dependable, remaining steadfast, displaying courage and willingness to remain and risk, even when what is seen by faith is not visible.

 

Faith inspired: We inspire faith when we help others experience faith and God’s faithfulness; essentially being a catalyst for the Holy Spirit to inspire them with faith.

 

[1] Hebrews 11.1

[2] Hebrews 10.22

Hope

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.[1]

 

Hope is not wishful thinking without guarantees, but a firm expectation of the promises of God. It is the presence of divine love in person, the Holy Spirit, which will not disappoint.[2]

 

Hope experienced: We experience hope, when we discover and are rooted in the new life, born out of the living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead;[3] when God remains true to His promises, despite living in a world far from justice, peace and love.

 

Hope expressed: We express hope, when we actively walk in and towards God’s promises; when we come alongside people who have lost hope; when we remain hopeful and faithful in hopeless situations for the benefit of those who cannot hope or cope on their own.

 

Hope inspired: We inspire hope in others, when we help them see and believe beyond their status quo; when we encourage them to trust that things can and will get better, that God’s presence is with them regardless of their circumstance.

 

[1] Hebrews 6.19-20

[2] Romans 5.5

[3] 1. Peter 1.3

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Love

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.[1]

 

Love is not a purely emotional quality, but God’s unconditional embrace of humankind. It is the source of God’s loving and relentless pursuit and continued turning towards us. Love is who God is and what He intends; it therefore sums up how we should relate to him and others.[2]

 

Love experienced: We experience love, when God and/or others connect with us unconditionally; when nothing we do and say, or don’t do and say, will change their love for us; when their love for us manifests itself in word and action.

 

Love expressed: We express love, when we show others unconditional love in word and deed; when we forgive and serve with patience, kindness and humility; when we embrace those who are loving towards us, those indifferent towards us and those who are against us.[3]

 

Love inspired: We inspire love, when we help others treat their fellow humans, especially the more vulnerable, with more love, more patience, more kindness and more humility; when we influence people and systems to value others above themselves; not look to their own interests but to the interests of others.[4]

 

[1] 1. John 3.16

[2] Matthew 22.40

[3] Matthew 5.44

[4] Philippians 2.3