How is divisiveness affecting your church?
Do you experience God’s glory, power and love when your church worships together?
Jesus said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21 ESV). The Amplified Bible says, “I will make Myself real to him.” Wow!
Isn’t this what we want – for Jesus to make Himself real to us? But how badly do we want it? Enough to do anything His Word says? What about the verses that address loving those who offend us? Are we willing to forgive “seventy times seven” (Matthew18:22 AMP)? Or would we rather hold onto grudges and forfeit a manifestation of God’s presence?
The world can see how well we’re following Jesus by the way we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ. John 13:35 (ESV) says,
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Does this convict you as it does me?
Can others tell for certain we are His? Or do we leave them doubting?
What would happen if we, each in our own churches, loved one another so magnificently that those observing took notice? Simply put, what would happen if we actually behaved in a Christ-like way toward one another instead of just talking about it? (Thankfully, God puts His love in our hearts so we can love others – even those who are difficult).
We could start by asking God to search our hearts to show us where we’ve failed. Then we can humbly ask those we’ve offended to forgive us. Realizing how imperfect we are helps us offer grace to those who are also imperfect. And we can pray for each other, even ask God how He wants to use us to meet the needs of those with whom we fellowship – including those (especially those) we’ve been holding grudges against.
Isn’t it time we stop letting our divisiveness and petty disagreements eat away at the sweetness we once experienced as a body? Wouldn’t we rather see how glorious our weekly fellowship could be if we loved each other as Christ loves us?
The choice is ours. Which direction and which outcome will we chose this week?
What about you?
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- How badly do you want God to reveal Himself during your worship service at church – and at home during your quiet time?
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I love this! This is the heart of the gospel.
Thank you, Barbara. I sincerely pray we will love each other – just as Christ loves us.
You are a great example of this.
You are WAY too kind, Barbara. But thank you.
I second what Barbara said. You have a willingness to understand the pain that you yourself have experienced (and continue to experience to a lesser degree, judging from some of your columns) and to use that very pain to try to help others deal with their own difficulties. Your columns have helped me personally, and have served as an example of a way in which we can show that we are His disciples.
Continue to let God’s light shine in and through you. We know it is all from His grace and to His glory.
Thank you, Stephen, (and again, Barbara), for your “way to kind” words.
I don’t take your comment(s) lightly. You have no idea how much they encourage me.