Love Others (IN)
Love Others (IN)
In part two of a three part series that is meant to dive further into what FBC believes our purpose to be, we’ll spend some time on what it means to love others (IN) in the context of belonging to a church family. Yes, “others” can technically mean pretty much everyone, but we recognize that a relationship with people who are part of the same church family is different than a relationship with people who aren’t yet part of God’s family. If you suggest to someone in North America that you want to watch or play football, it means something totally different than it does to someone in almost any other country in the world! Different purpose of the game, different rules, different equipment...American “football” is nothing like the rest-of-the-world-version of football (which we call soccer). In the same way, God’s family, specifically those who are part of the same local church, have made a commitment to live life together in a way that is noticeably different.
Rules, instructions and directions, when applied correctly, are meant to make whatever you’re doing better. Stubborn parents might be reminded of this when they ignore the instruction manual while trying to assemble a child’s Christmas present and find that Christmas isn’t feeling quite so merry because the toy won’t work. In the Bible, there are all kinds of instructions about how the church is supposed to treat each other. In fact, there are many, many more instructions about how to treat each other than there are about what to do when we all gather for a worship service. When God gives his church instructions about how to treat each other, he says things like:
- Share your resources with each other generously (2 Cor. 8:1-15)
- Forgive each other (Col 3:12-14)
- Use our diverse gifts and abilities to serve each other (1 Pet. 4:10-11)
- Speak the truth in love to help each other mature as followers of Jesus (Eph. 4:15-16)
- Put others’ interests ahead of your own (Phil. 2:3-4)
These are just a few tangible examples of what love looks like. How radically different is this from the way that you see people treating each other when they discuss things they are passionate about on Facebook? Perhaps sometime over the past month you’ve seen prominent public figures on the news, quoting Bible verses while their actions demonstrate something very different than God’s instructions for how to treat people. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said “just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus’ disciple and dear friend John wrote this instruction to the church years later:
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
The work of the Holy Spirit will be most evident in the way the church treats each other, and God promises that this will have a tangible impact on the community that you live in. Next week we’ll conclude this series as we look at how our love for each other is intended to be one of the primary ways we share Jesus (OUT).
If you have any thoughts, questions or feedback you can contact Adam here.