“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.”
Ephesians 4:1-4 NLT
We must recognize that we are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and we, thus, are to live our lives in such a manner as to represent Him well. We are to strive to be humble and gentle. Each of us need to treat other with patience because we all have our own faults and flaws. None of us have it all together. We need each other. It is monumentally important that we love each other. We are known as Christ's disciples by love.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34-35 NLT
This love will cause us to work diligently at staying united, not divided. Getting along with others takes work. It's not any easy task. We must decide to be a part of the solution rather than becoming a part of the problem when there is controversy and confusion that creeps in among us. Many people would rather step back into comfort and self preservation than to engage the difficult process of working through difficult issues that arise from time to time. Brothers and sisters, true Christianity isn't about self, it is about the whole. It is our responsibility to protect the well being of Christ's body, the church. We cannot live for self and satisfy the purpose of being a part of the church. We must work at peace and reconciliation. Anyone that stirs up strife and seeks to cause trouble isn't fulfilling their duty to serve Christ. Jesus is the ultimate example of devotion and commitment. He submitted himself to the will of God and died a criminals death in order to redeem lost mankind and establish His church. Today, many of us are only interested in what makes us happy and content. What ever happened to dedication and sacrifice? Aren't we here because of Christ? There is only one mission for the church - to live for the One who saved us and to demonstrate His likeness in our service to His church.
Question: What is God calling you to do in respect to making the church you are a part of better? As a pastor, I can tell you with absolute certainty that we all need to commit ourselves to making the church shine for God's glory. If only we could come together as one instead of going in so many different directions. Yes, we are individuals and we have things to attend to with respect to daily living. However, there is a bigger picture - the Church. Did Jesus establish His church? If so, is there any institution on earth that can fulfill the great commission any better than the church? The church of Jesus Christ was worth His life. Is it worth yours? I pray you will think about that today.
Rev. Curtis Norris