Sunday, February 26, 2012

They'll know we are Christians by... L-O-V-E!

Day 19 of 40…

I love how this 40 days of purpose/blogging has taken me through the chapters on Church Family right smack on top of the week my beloved churchy celebrated our 27th anniversary! J
No such things as coincidence when God is involved, that’s for sure.

Today’s chapter was on cultivating community.

Community is a wonderful thing. Having people that do life along with you is beautiful and a great source of accountability. People who care about your life and where you’re headed.

James 3:18
The Message (MSG)
Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour.

You see, it ain’t all fun and games.
God knew we’d have to work hard and trust Him to stay true to each other.
But let me ask you this… when you go to work, what do the people you work with say about churches?
Do they say people are always fighting… They say it’s just a bunch of rules and regulations... A breeding ground for hypocrites?  
See, the reason we need to live out our purpose of living as people formed for God’s family is because every other person in the world NEEDS to know what exactly that looks like!
How will they know without our example?

1 John 3:16
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Our society is based around unfaithfulness.
We see it everyday.
I’ll spare you details, but I’m sure you can come up with a few.
We’re all guilty – that’s why Jesus had to die.
We can’t point fingers without feeling that twinge of guilt.
If we truly Love each other as brothers and sisters in the church, we should make an effort to consciously stand up for each other and build each other up daily.
Think of that one person who drives you up the wall… or maybe it’s two or three.
Does God love them? Did He make them in His own image? Did Jesus give His life’s blood for them too?
Then who are you to judge?
It’s only by His grace that we are saved, loved, and restored into relationship with Him.
Grace… think about it. J

How can we love them though?
On my own strength it’s impossible.
Only by His strength.
Only by the Spirit of God indwelling us and working through us, can I love people the way God loves them.
This is my purpose in life, to bring glory to God by loving people.
Everyday I have to ask Him for strength.
Paul knew what he was saying when he wrote to the many churches. Encouraging them to rise up and change things so the world would know they were Christians by their love for each other.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, this and so much more is possible.

Real fellowship with our church family comes through a right relationship with God and the Holy Spirit empowering us to love each other!

Today my love for my church family is renewed because of a reminder of who we are as a church and the firm foundation we’ve been building the last 27 years. J
God’s church is meant to be a beautiful reflection of his love for his people… and my prayer is that wherever you find yourself tonight, your love for the church will be recommitted and that the Holy Spirit living in you will empower you to love them for the rest of your life.

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

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