If you never do another self-evaluation again, this will be the one you have to do. This checkup is more important than the one for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even Easter. This checkup is absolutely necessary for life to work the way God created it to work. Join AMBrewster as he shares multiple Bible verses to help us better understand the importance of maturing in love.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a family resource from Truth.Love.Parent., a ministry dedicated to rooting families in God and maturing families for God so they can harvest blessings from God.
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The Celebration of God is all about accountability. Accountability is a huge part of discipleship and worship. We all need help, and God designed the church to be built up as we disciple each other.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
Galatians 6:1-2 reads, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
James 5:16 commands, “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be [spiritually strengthened].”
Ephesians 4:15 explains how as we speak truth in love with each other we are built up into Christ.
And there are so many more passages commanding us to teach and correct and rebuke and reprove and to pray for one another and admonish one another and edify one another . . . and the list goes on and on.
That’s why we do these holiday checkups. They provide you an opportunity to honestly evaluate how well you celebrated God by giving Him the worship He deserves.
I know it can be uncomfortable or seem unnecessary. And I know this because the checkup episodes are downloaded far less than the other ones. But I’m not surprised because that’s how people respond to face-to-face accountability as well. They hide from it, they even fight against it sometime.
But if we are going to be true disciples of Christ, then we must come alongside our fellow disciples and assist them in their worship of God — their daily sacrifice.
But, with all of that said, I think today’s checkup is even a little more important than the others.
So, don’t forget to download the free Valentine’s Day Checklist from CelebrationOfGod.com so you can participate in Christ-honoring accountability.
Why would this checkup be more important than the others? I’ll talk about that in a minute.
First, I want to introduce the checklist for anyone for whom it’s new.
On the checklist you’ll find two major categories. The first category is not required in order to be a God-pleasing Christian. However, everything we create here is designed to help you worship God better. Therefore, those who take advantage of these free resources will definitely grow in their conformity to Christ.
Again, it’s not required, but it is very helpful.
However, the second category on the checklist is required for all believers. The items listed there are based on the spiritual disciplines God commands of His followers. They include Bible reading, prayer, and engagement in discipleship relationships. The only other spiritual disciplines that could be added to the list would be assembly with a local body of believers and the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper.
So, as you work through the checklist, you will come face-to-face with things that will either help you know and love God better and — some of which — God directly commands you to do.
And, yeah, I know it’s convicting. I’m the guy who created The Celebration of God discipleship experience. The Celebration Wall was my idea. I write and record and teach all of it! And yet, I too can’t honestly check off every item from the list.
Why? Well, I’m a sinful, forgetful, lazy human. I need just as much help and accountability as any other Christian. I make these lists for me and my family, and I pray you will take them seriously and use them to make changes in your life too.
So, that’s an overview of the checklist, and I would be very encouraged if you downloaded it and did them all.
And, yes, that was quicker than usual. And, yes, this episode will be shorter than usual, but I want to take the remainder of our time together to talk about why today’s checklist is so important.
I John 4:8 and 16 both say that “God is love.”
Now, please understand that I’m not focusing on this because I believe that love is God’s primary attribute or His most important attribute. God’s attributes are all equally infinite and vital to His being God. If you take any one of them away, He stops being God.
But, love is uniquely important in the life of a believer.
Again, I’m not saying that the other commands for Christians aren’t important, but I am saying that love is more important.
How can I say that?
Well, consider the fact that the first of the 10 Commandments started with an expectation that we love God.
The Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 tops the list with love.
Jesus said that the defining feature of our salvation is the love we have for each other.
I Corinthians 13 is not only the longest portion of Scripture dedicated to describing one singular Christian characteristic, it concludes by saying that love is greater than hope and even faith because love will last for all eternity.
And, of course, Jesus Himself told us that the two greatest commands in all the Scripture are to love God and love others.
Why is this? Why is love so desperately important.
Think of it this way. Love is a trajectory. It’s a direction that determines our destination.
If my love is self-focused, I’m moving away from God’s will for my life. I will not glorify Him in a single area of my existence as long as I’m loving self.
However, when my love is focused outward to God, then a couple things are happening. The trajectory of love that leads to God always passes through others. We cannot love God and not love other people.
I John 4:7-8 tells us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
And verse 20-21 proclaim, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”
Without love we will never do anything that pleases the Lord.
Do you remember how I Corinthians teaches us that life doesn’t work without love? Yup. It’s that important.
So, what’s the point of all these observations? The point is that we cannot overemphasize the importance of love in our lives. We cannot ever slack off in pursuing the love of God. We must never stop for a moment in growing in our love for God and others.
But remember this . . . everything I’ve said today will not help you unless you come to grips with the fact that love is a choice.
Love is a conscious decision to want and work toward God’s best interest in every situation. I love God by obeying His commands.
We’re all familiar with Jesus’ words from John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
But that is not the first or only time this truth is revealed in Scripture.
Deuteronomy 11:1 says, “You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments.” This same idea is repeated in Deuteronomy 11:13 and 30:16.
Joshua 22:5 reads, “Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Nehemiah 1:5 tells us, “I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
Daniel 9:4 illustrates the undeniable bond between the choice to love and the choice to obey.
This is why, in I John 5:2-3, we read, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
And since all of the Law and the Prophets hang from the two greatest commands, we know that consciously choosing to want and work toward God’s best interest will always result in us doing what’s best for the other people in our lives. It will always result in us loving them.
Valentine’s Day is a glorious holiday when it’s used to truly celebrate the love of God to us and in us.
Take time to seriously consult the Word of God and search your heart. None of us are as loving as we should be. Therefore, we all need to continue growing and maturing in our True Love.
So, what needs to happen so that you will be more loving?
If you don’t know and would like some help, the TLP Counselors would be overjoyed to serve you. The Celebration of God is a discipleship resource of Truth.Love.Parent., and TLP has a robust biblical counseling program.
All you have to do is send an email to Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com or call us at (828) 423-0894.
We’d love to love you better and help you love God and others better.
Also, please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets. There’s not a Christian alive today who doesn’t need to grow in their love.
And join us next time as we take the last episode of Season 2 to talk about the very exciting Season of Life.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.