24 May 2012|
Can you picture John saying: “Children, let us love one another”?
Can you hear Jesus pleading: “The first command and the second is about love, just love each other”?
In Ephesians 4:3 Paul pleads for us to “endeavor”, “be diligent”, “make every effort”, to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” It’s often overlooked that we are not told to “make the unity...” because we don’t and we can’t. There are just too many differences in any church of more than, say, two people: different backgrounds, different races, different ages, different cultures, different approaches to life. Man can’t bring all that sort of unity. The point is that the Spirit made us one when we were baptized into one Body (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Our responsibility is to give our best to keep that unity He made. Oneness. we say that “we are all trying to love each other here.” It is a challenge because sometimes I say and do things, I behave in ways that makes it hard to love me - and if you’re honest - you probably do too. Any church that says “we all love each other here” will lie about other things too. But if we are to impact this world at all we must work toward loving each other (John 11:35).
That means if I have an issue with Bob I need to go to Bob and try to make it right. Not to Jill, or Juan but Bob. The deeper become involved in the lives of others the greater chance for conflict. So determine to work toward loving others, not away from it. Perhaps more than any other of the “7 O’s” this one requires personal effort. We must make that effort...because of Him (the Lord) and them (the lost) and Us (the liberated).
Dale Jenkins and Scott Bond