Open Bible Praise Center strives to show by our lives that we love, honor and obey God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” This instruction from Jesus is the model – the roadmap if you will – for our Vision Statement:
It is our earnest desire first and foremost to Love God. We draw closer to Him through praise and worship, prayer, and studying God’s Word, the Bible. We find that is it true what is said in I John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us”. God has showered His love on us – even though we do not deserve that love. He has made a Way for us to come back into fellowship with Him and to be forgiven of all our sins. How could we not love Him back? We grow to love Him more as we study His Word, commune with Him in prayer, and fellowship with other believers.
When our hearts are full of love and gratitude as well as awe and wonder of Him we find the second commandment comes naturally and that is to…
Jesus informs us in Matthew 22:39 that the second commandment is just as important as the first: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are aware that many times it is extremely difficult to love your neighbor. There are times when some people seem, well….unlovable. How does one love an apparently unlovable person? We can do this by asking our Lord to see every person through His eyes. God LOVES us….ALL of us. His love is a deep, embracing, forgiving, desperate love. The Greek term for love of this type is “agape” and is the highest, deepest, purest and most, unselfish form of love that anyone can exhibit or even imagine.
God’s agape love for us was clearly shown at the cross. Ephesian 2:4-5 tell us, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved”.
We learn in Romans 5:8 that, “… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
And of course, John 3:16 tells it all: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.
We can seek and trust God to help us see others through His eyes and to have a measure of that same wonderful, unmerited agape love toward others that He has shown to us.
Our vision’s third point will be a spontaneous outflow when we truly follow the first two commandments. Our third goal is to….
What does it mean to serve? Jesus points out in Matthew 25: 31-40, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.
Open Bible Praise Center seeks to reach out to the Community to help and serve those around us. We have a vibrant Missions Program where we support other ministries who are striving to serve and help others as well – Missionaries, Outreach Programs, Prison Ministries etc.
We have found that our hearts and lives are filled with more meaning and fulfillment when we help and serve others. The more we serve, the richer our lives become – not in material things, but in our hearts, minds and spirits. Pursuing wealth, power and possessions will never be able to match that.
When we someday stand before the Lord, what do we want to show Him about our lives? Do we want to show off everything we have accumulated; all the “stuff” that really means nothing? Or do we want to tell Him how we helped and loved others even when we did not feel like it? He already knows which things are foremost in our hearts; He knows what we think, do and say every day. Which do you think He would personally rather hear about when you stand before Him?
We are not perfect, but depend on our Lord and Savior to help us be the people we should be – who He plans for us to be: those who Love God, Love People, and Serve Others.
God bless you.