Learning to love as Christ loves is difficult; it’s not natural–it’s supernatural! We need the Holy Spirit of God in us!
15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 1 John 4:15-16
As I looked over the list I had made concerning how we are to treat each other in a time of change, there were a few points that still need to be made and some bear repeating. Here they are:
- We are bound together by God’s love. If we lose our unity in fellowship, we lose the mission Christ has set before us. We are to “shine like stars in the sky among our generation” (Philippians 2:15). The greatest way to do this is to love one another Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
- We look at our immediate needs, but we must invest in future generations. Moses prayed, “Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” 90:16-17).
- God is to be honored above all–above all personal opinions, interests, and decisions–with unity, building up of the body, in order to build up our resources for living celebrative, consecrated lives for all to see.
- A verse I read every day is Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” The key words are “always” and “full.” “Always” as in never any other way, and “full” meaning filled with the Spirit. I love the “seasoned with salt” part. Salt is used as seasoning, medicine, and several other uses. For us, we are to season our conversation with grace.
- The last point gives us hope in that Christians have been disagreeing with each other since–whenever people started meeting together. In Philippi, there were two ladies who were in disagreement with each other. Paul called them out, “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:2-3). I trust that they took Paul’s plea to heart and implemented the next two verses, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
This list concludes my attempt to establish a baseline for interaction in our churches, our homes, and our families. If we treat each other as cherished children of God, then we will be fine. May God bless us as we strive to be lights for Him.
Abba, You do not show favoritism*; You love us all equally. May we treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, loved and cherished by You. If we love one another as You have loved us, then the world will know what true love is and be drawn to it. Help us to shine our lights to each other even as we shine them in the world around us. Amen.
*34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. Acts 10:34-35