On September 17 “Philadelphia” church in Izhevsk had the Lord’s supper service. In the light of this event senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov preached again about our ability to love. He started the sermon by reminding the church about the consequences of the absence of love for God (1 Corinthians 16:22). Speaking about love for your neighbor pastor emphasized that the state of not loving equals to hating your neighbor. But to be able to love you need to understand what it means. Referring to the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians pastor revealed basic criteria of love. “Love does not boast”, “it is never proud” – if you boast it means you humiliate others, and if you are proud you demonstrate your ego. “Love is not self-seeking” – these words challenge the whole system of the modern world where everyone tries to look after their own interests. But God calls us to think of others in the first place, because when we serve our neighbor we serve ourselves. “Love does not dishonor others” implies respecting your neighbor even if they fell. “It keeps no record of wrongs” – it means love does not remember if anyone did something wrong to you, which is closely connected with “love is not easily angered”. The memory of somebody’s faults hinders you from seeing people adequately, they start to irritate you. But the Bible teaches us to forget about people’s mistakes and to trust again and again, for it is natural for love to justify. “Love never fails” – it means it can never end, “it always protects” – but not in case of unconfessed sins, “love always trusts” – it believes in the best, “love always perseveres” – it has all the necessary resources for this. In the end pastor called us to follow the way of love, to pray for it and to demonstrate love in action: “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

The conference on missionary work will take place on October 27-28. It is intended not only for missionaries, but for everyone who is willing to come.

Irina Konovalova



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