“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NLT)
I’m getting this posted on Monday (my time) just in the nick of time 🙂 It’s been a busy day filled with doctors appointments and a sick little boy
Remember that old saying, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love”? I’d like to change it for at least today to read, “What the church needs now is love, sweet love”!
Sadly, many of us are noticing that there seems to be a real lack of LOVE in the body of Christ.
Jesus said in Mark 20:30-31,”And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (NKJV)
Jesus also said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:35 (KJV)
The author of love Himself, the One Who laid down His life that we all may have eternal life tells us the greatest commandment of all is love and that the rest of the world will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.
Do you know who the Pharisees were? They were members of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form. The problem with the Pharisees were that they were so caught up in the strictness of their adherence that they became SELF righteous, not truly righteous. The Pharisees are the ones who bribed people to declare to Pilot to crucify Jesus. They were so blinded by their self-righteousness that they had no love in them.
There are so many in the body of Christ like that now too, sadly. I’m in a number of Facebook groups for Christians and way too often I see a self-righteous Christian being cruel to another in the group. Perhaps the latter was wrong or sinful or causing disruption, but way too often they just have a different viewpoint or opinion than the former. It’s so sad to me to see this. The rest of the world won’t look at this conversation and see any kind of love whatsoever, let alone the love of the One they need the most! We need to do all we do in love so the world will see the love of Christ Himself in us and want that life-giving and soul-saving grace He offers us all.
Jesus also tells us in Matthew 24:11-12, “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
He didn’t say it would not include His own people, the church, and this is so true in today’s world and church as well. So little love in the world. It should not be that way among those who call themselves followers of the very One who told us that it’s our love for one another that will show the world we are His. It should not be that way in a redeemed people who should remember that is is by GRACE that we are saved, not our own works (Ephesians 2:8-9) and who should remember from where we came. Love should be the hallmark of our lives and our witness.
Next time you feel that self-righteous attitude nipping at your heels, stop and remember these passages and let the love of Christ soften your hearts. The world needs it now more than ever!
“4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.” –Romans 2:4-11