MEDITATE & DIGEST: LOVE – UNITED WE STAND
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! (Revelation 2:4 NLT)
What if Jesus is looking for a united church? What if some of the breakthroughs we are hoping for would be seen if the church were united in one mind and heart? Does that sound unreasonable?
Now, I’m not looking to get into a political argument and am not stating a position, so please don’t read into what I say next: Even the world understands the power of unity. This US election is being campaigned in part by the slogan “Better Together”. It’s not a new concept and humans uniting, for good or bad, has historically had a powerful impact on society. If done absent of God, we run the risk of a Babel or a Holocaust, but when done with the One True God as the center of devotion and direction – with the intention of glorifying Him – it has limitless potential and could mean seeing Jesus come back.
Does it sound like nonsense that our unity could be that important? Could our lack of love toward each other truly be hindering the progress of the Church? Well…
But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. (Galatians 5:15 NLT)
What if God gifted us all differently, not so we could nitpick and think that person or group was doing it wrong, but so that there would be no division in the Body and together we could build each other up (1 Corinthians 12:25, Ephesians 4:11-13)? What if the world knowing Jesus was dependent on our unity and love for each other (John 13:35, 17:21)? What if we stopped measuring our goodness as Christians by how well we walk out “religion”, and instead were more concerned about loving and elevating each other into righteousness?
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for correction, God is a course corrector and He wants us to do it His way: in love and gentleness. What it does mean is that gossip and slander are poison and we need to set them aside (1 Peter 2:1). Hatred, jealousy, and discord are the marks of baby Christians and the
greatest way to know a genuine disciple of Jesus is by how much they love their sibling in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1-4, 1 John 4:20-21). Oh Church, may we rise up into this liberty! If we want to please God together, let’s work hard at loving each other well and then sit back to see what He does through that.
*Note: The Greek word diabolos which is the word for “devil” in the New Testament is translated differently three times. The other rendering, “malicious gossips” or “slanderers”, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:11, 2 Timothy 3:3, and Titus 2:3.
(Featured image courtesy of porbital @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)