We are wrapping up our message series and focus for the month of November.

Be Rich: An extravaganza of generosity. Give. Serve. Love.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can still contribute your $39.95 from our “Give” week by texting BERICH to 614-682-7117.   And, 100% of what comes in will go to our local good partners!

Today, we focus on LOVE.

Paul writes to young Timothy as he starts ministering and starting churches:

“Command those who are rich in this present world… to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” – 1 Timothy 6:17-18 NIV

Throughout history, humanity has been concerned with our relationship with God - where we are with God, what God really wants with and from us.

So we tend to focus on our “vertical way” – and while that is not a bad thing at all, it’s just incomplete. What we find through the teachings of Jesus and his closest followers is that the Horizontal Way replaced our Vertical Way.

We see that our relationship with God is now “tethered” to our relationships with one another. All of the list of rules, “commandments” as Jesus was asked and then said and then Paul and His other followers would re-iterate and teach us in the NT would be replaced by one simple (not easy) way: Love. Love for one another.

Andy Stanley puts it this way: “A relationship with God is measured against our relationships with others.”

John, a close friend and follower of Jesus, writes this in 1 John 2:1–11

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.

This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness.”

So, why does our VERTICAL relationship with God hang/tied to our HORIZONTAL relationship?

Because::  Everybody is somebody for whom Jesus died. 

Once again, John puts it this way, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” – I John 2:2

Essentially, you can’t mistreat anyone who matters to God and be ok with God.

Think about sin this way: If it’s not best for him or her, it is sin.

Ask yourself this question as you interact, live with and are around people this week (and always): 

What does love require of me? 

Here’s our takeaway:

Do something thoughtful for someone who will be surprised you thought of him or her.

You can go to: for some ideas.