by Mary Stout
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:23-24, NIV)
As a whole, the Christian community really believes in Jesus Christ. We go to church, Bible study, we dutifully donate something for Backpack Buddies, and we give something to the church, various missions, and other ministries. These are good works and they are a beautiful part of the corporate body of Christ. Gathering together and giving is such an important part of our spiritual life.
As infomercials can tell you, “But wait! There’s more!”
Look at the second part of that verse: “Love one another as he commanded us.” I am just going to ask you: Do you say I love you on Sunday and mean it? How many have you reached out to during the week to show them the love you spoke to them about on Sunday? Be honest with yourself. Have you helped someone experience God’s love lately? One of the reasons people who are unchurched is this: We are not congruent. We don’t mean it on Sunday when we say our weekly I love yous.
Expressing God’s love to someone can take many forms. It may be a word you felt the Lord tugging at you to tell them, it may be a home-cooked meal. It may be a visit or a hug when you see them at the store Take someone out for coffee. It may mean you have to put yourself out there as Jesus did. It’s a part of your walk to be more like Jesus. Eating with sinners, feeding the crowds, walking along the road and touching others.
Taking time to check on those in the body of Christ strengthens us all. Let’s stop for a minute and quit making excuses with ourselves. Let’s do what love does and help the 85k see him. One loving gesture at a time is all it takes. You never know what an impact you will make. It starts in the halls and rooms and lives of our church. Loving one another to the heart of Christ isn’t just a motto…it’s Gods way.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember to reach out to one another and show each other your love. Open our hearts and minds and help us to honor you in our day to day life, not just on Sunday. Help us shine your light and lead others to begin, or begin again, the journey with Jesus. In His name, we pray, amen.