29 Mar No Greater Love
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.” John 3:16 (ESV)
It is an honour to greet you as we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ this weekend. This time every year marks the foundation of our faith, a hope that never disappoints and a love that compels us to transform Australia one life at a time. As the Apostle Paul reminded the believers in Ephesus, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power available to us who believe. Both Tracey and I wish you a blessed and holy Easter period, acknowledging there is no greater love over our lives than the life-saving and transforming love of Jesus.
The most recent stop on our tour around the nation celebrating the embrace of our national vision was in Western Australia. Let me tell you, the spirit of the Lord is alive and well in our Army in the west! Tracey and I experienced many moments witnessing how lives are being transformed. Young Salvos taking leadership roles, a rally of over 650 Salvos celebrating our national vision and an Officers fellowship that saw Officers recommit to their covenant of service to God. How energising!
Whilst in Perth, we had the opportunity to visit ‘The Beacon’ homelessness program. In 2014, as Territorial Commanders of the Australia Southern Territory, we officially opened this facility, dedicating it to the glory of God. Going back there to hear of the progress and impact our programs are having on Perth’s homeless moved us greatly.
We were particularly taken-aback by a young man named David*, who had been living on the streets of Perth until he connected with the Salvos several months ago. David quickly became a key member of ‘The Beacon’ family. He learnt about Jesus here and gave his life to the Lord, developed a relationship with Jesus and in the process, discovered he was father to a child he never knew he had.
At ‘The Beacon’, not only did David experience the love of Salvos walking alongside him in his hours of greatest need, but two other very special kinds of love: the innate connection between father and child, and the wonderful and precious love of a Saviour.
Throughout the course of this man’s testimony – which he highlighted though a beautifully sung hip-hop song of how Jesus has changed his life for the better – we saw the love of Jesus emanate for all to see. There stood a man, who was lost, lived on the street but had his life transformed by the precious love of Jesus. It was beautiful. It was joyous. It was a living example of our vision, transforming Australia one life at a time.
May the love you experience this Easter compel you to share Jesus’ love with all you encounter, as there is no greater love than this.
* Name has been changed.