Let Us Be Known by Our Love for One Another
September 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
For a few weeks now, I have presented the opportunity to the Raise the Risk Readers to join in praying for the persecuted church. We have looked at these men and women of God as modern-day Prisoners of War.
This spiritual battle that we are in is in large part unseen. However, the way in which we live declares more of whose side we are fighting on than that which we profess. We are to be known by our deeds of love (1 John 3:17-19).
Let us ask ourselves, “What does love look like inside the church?”
In considering the look of love, most seasoned church goers point to 1 Corinthians 13, and therefore this passage has become one to read through flippantly. However, most of my striving, discord, and unsettled emotional states come because I have not love.
Even today, I have awakened to prayer and reading God’s word to find that I have hatred in my heart towards a brother in Christ. Just because a brother’s actions are not in line with what I believe God’s heart to be does not give me the right to bear hatred towards him. Conversely, I should pray for him and seek God’s forgiveness of my wretched state. Because:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
We who are in Christ are of one body. We must be known by our love toward our imperfect brethren as well as toward the persecuted family in Christ, the hurt, the poor, the widowed and the orphaned. That indeed is marvelous love.
“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 1 Corinthians 12:24b-26
Christ demonstrated that second place is to be vied for. This means loving each other as Christ loved us, blemishes and all. Praying for one another rather than tearing each other down with our words and wills. This means looking towards the needs of fellow believers and praying for them diligently.
As we continue our prayer for the persecuted church, may we watch the video below and be stirred to intercede for the encouragement of the saints. May we in the church in America lay aside our differences, egos, and pride and beseech the Author and Perfector of our faith to make us be known by our love for one another both near and far.