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One Billion Acts of Love

December 5, 2011

My friend Nate said to me, “On our walking mission to the remotest regions of Nepal, porters carrying crates on their heads passed us on the trail. In the crates were bottles of Coca-Cola. We never came to a village, though it be ten days from the road, that Coke did not get there first.”

One Billion Acts of Love

What is more critical? The delivery of Coca Cola or delivering the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Muslim World?

That is Nate’s amazing story. So is the story of how Coca-Cola expanded to everywhere on the planet, a story told by Coca-Cola’s Cuban-born President, the late Robert Goizueta: “A billion hours ago, human life appeared on earth. A billion minutes ago, Christianity emerged. A billion seconds ago, the Beatles changed music. A billion Coca-Colas ago was yesterday morning.” That is how Goizueta told Coca-Cola’s amazing success story. “Our goal,” he went on to say, “is to say “a billion Coca-Colas ago was this morning.”1

But our amazement at the spread of bottles and cans of sugar water to remotest regions of Nepal and all the world does not compare to the glory of the spread of God’s love. As Paul Zahl says in his wonderful book, A Short Systematic Theology, Jesus was the first Christian. And Jesus is the starting point for the great change that has occurred all over the world. And that change is love.

“The temple of God on earth is the love we have for one another and for him,” Zahl writes. Christians are a people “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). And this love is from God, specifically, from God the Father, “who loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (I John 4:10), and from God the Son, from whose love nothing can separate us (Romans 8:35).

This love from God the Father and God the Son is what Zahl calls our “belovedness,” and says that our “belovedness is always prior to loving.” And what has gloriously happened in the world since Jesus changed everything is that people who know they are beloved of God are doing the loving things that Jesus did, and would do if Jesus were here today, and, in fact, are proving that Jesus is here today in the loving things that they do. And this love extends itself further and further, to where there are no roads, to where porters carry it to the most distant places. A billion acts of Christian love ago: that was yesterday morning. Our goal is to make a billion acts of Christian love ago to be this morning.

1 Corporate Cultures and Global Brands, p. 65.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Brant Baker permalink
    December 6, 2011 12:15 am

    Great post, great image, great idea…thanks brother!

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