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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Planting Churches in a Divided Land

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Church planting is not an end in itself. We keep our foot on the pedal of church planting because we want to get somewhere.

We talk about church planting, preach about church planting, pray about church planting, write about church planting—we even sing about church planting—all because we have a destination in mind.

What is that destination? The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. That’s what church planting is about. We want to see Jesus magnified by intentionally multiplying churches around the world.

That’s why a diverse, global family like Acts 29 exists: to see the earth filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14). What better way to do this than plant churches that proclaim the gospel in the darkest places of the world?

Church planting isn’t easy. It’s far from glamorous. It’s not a formula that promises a desired outcome. But the church is glorious because she is the bride of Christ. He guarantees her ultimate triumph (Matt. 16:18). So we can press on, even amid all the difficulties, because our confidence is in him.

Today we have Lucas Parks and Andrew Elder with us to discuss church planting in Northern Ireland.

You can listen to this podcast episode here.

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