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Do you love the Body of Christ?

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It seems these days that we, as believers, are fighting each other more and more!
Between egos, opinions, lack of christian maturity, and other factors. It seems that we as christians, have fallen much too "short" of where we are called to be!
You see as christians we are called to love one another:
  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
                                                (John 13:34 NKJV)
But when we do not "excercise" (i.e. "practice") this command we are falling much too short!
It's is an awful thing to have the body of Christ fighting with one another!!
Afterall Jesus said:
  "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
                                                 (John 13:35 NKJV)
But how can people know that we are truly His disciples if we spend much of our time arguing with, and mistreating each other?
It astounds me how we "go at each other's throat's" over such ridiculous, and often times, "trivial" things!
From those who believe that certain "types" of clothes have to be worn in church! To others fighting over the "type" of worhsip music!! To those who think that the "bigger" the church they belong to, the more "spiritual" they are!!! And then there are those who "believe" that only one certain translation of the Bible is "valid". Or what about those that have turned the church into their own "club"? Visitors come in and they make them feel "un-welcome", and "not good enough". And they feel so "un-welcome" they never come back!
What is wrong with us that we would be so "petty" and argue over such trivial, and often, "ridiculous" things?
Do you think God is more concerned about the "clothes" you are wearing, or the condition of your heart?
Do you think He is more worried about the "style" of worship music, or the condition of the heart that is worshipping?
Or what about the building? Does He care more about it's "size" and "accoustics", or the hearts of those that occupy it?
It's NO WONDER that many unbelievers do not want anything to do with us! If we cannot seem love each other, how can we love them?
You see in this christian walk love is "paramount" in our faith! without love anything we do, NO matter what it is, means nothing!
Paul the apostle put it best:
 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
                                  (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV)
You see it is love (God) that created us:
  "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

                                             (1 John 4:8 NKJV)

And it is God's love that caused Him to save us! To sacrifice His own Son that we might become His beloved children:

  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

                                               (John 3:16 NKJV)

But when we go around behaving like immature children we are NOT showing the love of God! And love is the means by which others truly know, that we are believers!!

If we cannot love those in the body, than how can we possibly love those outside?

You see we as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to unity:

 "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

                                          (Ephesians 4:1-6 NKJV)

We are called to "lift up" and help one another:

  "We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”

                                           (Romans 15:1-3 NKJV)


  "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."

                                         (Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV)

We are called to help, and support one another!

Now of course we have to be "careful" in this! As the unity the "world" would have us believe (i.e. "buy into") is the type that says "morality is all relative". In other words, "whatever you feel is right, is right". Now we know as believers, that ANYTIME scripture is altered to "apease" someone else, or for any reason (at all), it is WRONG!!!

Afterall, we know that scripture is our guide for what we know to be true, and right, as followers of Christ:

  "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,"

                                            (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV)

And the Lord...

 “ For I am the LORD, I do not change;
      Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob."

                                               (Malachi 3:6 NKJV) 

And His word...

  "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."

                                            (Matthew 24:35 NKJV)

NEVER changes!

And unfortunately the "worldy" view on "unity" has "found it's way" into many churches today. Churches allowing "unthinkable" types of sin to plague the body of Christ. Sin that is blatantly adhored in scripture, but accepted in some churches (and now in some denominations). But this (in itself) is another subject.

But the unity we are talking about here, is scripturally unity!

The basic command that Jesus gave to us. To "love one another" (as He has loved us, John 13:34).

And what is love? Paul said it well:

 "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..."

(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV Note: end of verse 8 omitted)

And we should still love those who have strayed, but we should NEVER agree with their sin (say that it is "okay")!

If we cannot seem to love each other, than we must truly examine ourselves:

 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified."

                                  (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV)

And if we have been found "wanting", then its time to repent!

You see this walk of ours is all about loving God will all "our hearts, soul, mind and strength" (Mark 12:30). Following Him, and sharing the gospel with all people (Luke 9:23, Matt. 28:19). And Jesus said to us, that if we love Him, we are to keep His commands (John 14:15). And we have been commanded to love each other! So we all must honestly ask ourselves this, "am I really loving others as God has called me too?"

And if you have been found "wanting", then its time to "get right" with the Lord!

The Lord can help us to change. He can change our hearts, if we truly give our hearts to Him to change! So if this is you, then ask the Lord to help you!! He will, but you have to be willing, and you have to sincerely ask!!


And here's some "food" for thought:

  "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

                                                (1 John 3:16 NKJV)


Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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