“Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:11-12 HCSB)
Church, how else is the world going to know Jesus if the world doesn’t see and hear Jesus in us? Are we ashamed to speak and act like Jesus? Then why aren’t we doing it? I know what some of us are saying, right now, “Of course I’m not ashamed of Jesus, how dare you question my love for Him!” And some of us are even adding an excuse to it, saying, “I just don’t want to offend anyone!” We seem to have forgotten that Jesus, our Lord and King, has given us a command:
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35 HCSB).”
How can we, the church, love others outside the church, when we can’t even love one another, in the church? How can we even call ourselves Christians when we are indifferent to the suffering of our Christians brothers and sisters? One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is a church budget. We spend thousands of dollars caring for buildings and programs, and just a few dollars, in comparison, for the overall care of our own brothers and sisters in need. Where we, the church, spend the most money is where our hearts are.
I would rather be hated by the world for my love for God and others, than be loved by the world for my indifference. Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me and others, so I will love Him and give myself for Him and others in return. I will love Him, and others, even if it costs me my life, because I would rather be loved by God and hated by the world, than to be loved by the world and hated by God.
So, church, how can we love one another as the Lord has commanded us to do? It’s simple, just find someone in your congregation that is need of love and care, and love and care for them. Supply their needs without expecting anything in return.
Church, if there is no benevolence fund for your congregation in your budget, isn’t it time to change that? Isn’t it time to be an example to the world of what it looks like to love one another? If we want our world to change, change has to begin with us.