Jesus said in Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” So we believe we should love God by (1) Worshipping Him in spirit and truth, John 4:23 and (2) By obeying all of His commands, John 14:15. He then went on to say in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Thus, we believe we should love people by (1) Helping them in their time of need, 1 John 3:17 and (2) By proclaiming the Gospel to them, Romans 1:16. This is our great vision for Metro Praise International Church!
Psalm 48:1-2,9-10,14; “1 Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. 2 Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. 9 Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. 10 Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
- OUR GREAT CITY: The New Jerusalem, also known as Mt. Zion, will be the 1,400 square mile city that Jesus will reign from for all eternity with His people. Until that time, God’s chosen people (i.e., “the church”) are the temple of God and are preparing the nations to become citizens of that great city. Hence the name for our church being, “Metro Praise International,” which stands for, “New Jerusalem, a city of praise unto God in all the nations,” Jeremiah 33:9.
Mark 12:28-31, “28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
- VISION: The central theme and focus of our church. In the business world they use “mission statements” to define their purpose. For example, Apple’s mission statement is, “Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.” However, according to the Bible, God uses visions (divine revelations) to guide His people, Isaiah 1:1, Ezekiel 1:1, & Acts 2:17. The Bible is very clear to note that without vision or a revelation from God, the people on earth will perish. Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no revelation (vision/divine guidance), people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”
- THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS: The great commandments given by Jesus, as found in Mark 12:30, is the “vision/revelation” from the Father that should be every church’s number one focus and theme for all its functions. Which is to love the one true God with everything and love people as yourself.
- LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE: We at MPI have chosen to simplify the Great Commandments of God to make it easy to remember and share with everyone. “Loving God and Loving People!”
TWO MAIN WAYS TO LOVE GOD
- WORSHIPPING GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: We worship God in spirit by being born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit and by believing sound doctrine. John 4:23-24, “23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
- OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS: We obey God’s commands by following the teachings of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament. There are roughly 100 commands in the NT and most of them could be summed up as; (1) Moral, (2) Discipleship, (3) Church, (4) Social Order, & (5) Doctrinal Commands. John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.”
TWO MAIN WAYS TO LOVE PEOPLE
- HELPING IN TIMES OF NEED: The parables of “The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37) and “The Sheep and Goats” (Matthew 25:31-46) illustrate how Jesus intended us to help people- clothing the naked, providing for the sick, feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, bringing justice to the oppressed, etc. Remember, sometimes “helping people” can be considered “tough love,” like Jesus with the “Rich Man” (Matthew 19:16-30) and Paul with the widows (1 Timothy 5:3-16). Sadly, needy people can sometimes try to wrongly obligate or shame Christians who don’t help them in the way they want it. Thus, the following saying is often true in such cases, “You don’t always get what you want, but you might just get what you need!” For example, an addict may try to make a person feel guilty because they will not give them money or a place to stay because instead they are offering them the chance to join a program. Or a husband may try to convince his battered wife not to call the police because going to jail will embarrass him and cause him hardship. However, the wife should love him enough to get him arrested because that is truly what he needs. This kind of “tough love” can also been seen in “Church Discipline” as noted by Paul in Corinth (1 Corinthians 5) and in Crete (Titus 3:10-11).
- PREACHING THE GOSPEL: As disciples of Christ we don’t just bring “social justice,” but we also must preach the gospel of Jesus Christ! For without the gospel- poor people with full bellies will still go to hell! Both the YMCA and Salvation Army started with this vision and we must carry on this tradition with the godly heart of their founders. The YMCA, “combined preaching in the streets and the distribution of religious tracts with a social ministry.” Salvation Army’s objectives were, “The advancement of the Christian religion… of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.” Paul boldly stated in Romans 1:16-17, “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed— a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
- Love God with all your heart soul, mind, and strength by worshipping Him in spirit and in truth and by obeying all His commands.
- Love People as yourself by helping them in times of need and preaching the gospel to them.
1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”