What's the greatest love you've ever known? 

best love

Barry Cooper is our Director of Product Development and writer and presenter of Discipleship Explored, which will be released on 1 March. He lives in Florida with his wife, Lee.  

Disciples ought to be the best lovers. We are, after all, the best loved.

Most of us believe that loving and being loved is the greatest experience a human being can have. I think so too. But the kind of love that is written about in romantic novels, sung about on pop records, played out in romcoms, or even enjoyed in marriage - as glorious as that can be, it's not the best love there is.

Not even the love that exists in the most wonderful marriage truly satisfies at the deepest, most existential level, and that's because we were made to love and be loved by our Creator.

Did you know that the Apostle Paul never uses the word 'Christian' in any of his letters? Not once. Instead, he describes disciples as being 'in the Lord' or 'in Christ'. Look through the New Testament, and you’ll see he uses that phrase, or variants of it, some 216 times.

That’s no accident. Paul knows that when we start to grasp this reality, it utterly transforms our experience of who we are, and how we are loved. We aren’t just followers of Christ. We are in Him.

Theologians call it 'union with Christ'. It is the greatest blessing of the gospel because all other blessings are derived from it. Forgiveness, freedom, comfort, contentment, righteousness, the Holy Spirit in us, becoming a co-heir with the second person of the Trinity, eternal happiness in the new heaven and earth - all of these joys and many more are possible because we are (to use Paul’s phrase) 'in Christ'.

Brother, sister, do you realise how infinitely you are loved?

I know most people, most days, don't feel that's true. Even Christians sometimes struggle to feel that's really true - that being known and loved by Jesus is far better than any earthly love.

So my privilege in writing and presenting the new edition of Discipleship Explored has been to try and help people live in the wonder of that reality.

We travelled across five continents and seven countries, interviewing disciples all over the world to show how their lives have been transformed by that love - even in the most desperate situations.

Discipleship Explored will be released on 1 March (order your copy). We’re thrilled with it, and hope you will be too.

Please join us in praying that Discipleship Explored would be well used, and that lives would be transformed as people begin to grasp the greatest love they’ve ever known.

Disciples ought to be the best lovers. We are, after all, the best loved.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

If you missed Love, Live, Tell 2018 (where we showed an extended preview of Discipleship Explored) you can watch it here

We've also been releasing stories of the people who appear in front of the cameras in the series. So far we've introduced Lenny Barber and Simo Ralevic. Keep your eyes peeled for more.