In trying to articulate what we see as the basics of being a follower of Jesus, we talk about THREE Journeys: Upward, Inward & Outward.
These journeys are reminders to love God completely, to love one another compassionately and to love the world courageously. None of us have arrived, yet we deeply desire to move further along in our journey. We are not dependent upon our own ingenuity, stubbornness or self-sufficiency but upon the grace, courage and strength God gives us. These journeys are not about us and our “spiritual accomplishments,” but are about God’s eternal passion to love and change imperfect people like us. Though on a journey, we do know our destination, which is to become fully devoted to Jesus in all spheres of our lives. So, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome to walk with us.
We were created by God to know and to love Him. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). It’s because of this love, which evidenced itself by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross, that we have grace and forgiveness, and we can have a relationship with Him. This relationship is what we call the Upward Journey.
Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
God never intended for us to live life alone or to live out his purposes for us in isolation. We were created for community, and that authentic and sacrificial community should be a picture to the world of Jesus’ love. Community is messy, but it’s life. It’s this life together that we call the Inward Journey.
Let me give you a new command; love one another. In the same way I love you, you love one another. This is how others will recognize you are my followers-when you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Jesus commands us to love our neighbor – our neighbor across the street as well as across the world. We have been blessed by God in order to be a blessing to the world (Genesis 12). God is at work all around us, and He invites us to join Him. We seek to live in such a way that others are curious about our great hope and joy. This is what we call the Outward Journey.
Love your neighbor as yourself. This is the second command. (Matthew 22:39)