ARE YOU LAYING DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR CHURCH FAMILY?
Who are you sacrificially laying down your life for in the church these days? Jesus, said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). So, how is that going for you?
I am staggered when I think about the scope of what Jesus expects of us as his followers. The love He modeled as he was dying on the cross, and ultimately in His death for us, is light years away from what we witness in the world from day to day; yet this is how He wants us to love one another. The good news is that He promises to come and live in our hearts and fill us with His love so we can, in turn, love our brothers and sisters. His love powers us on, and His forgiveness allows us to pick ourselves up when we fail.
However, we are told in the Bible, love that does not take on concrete expression is not love at all. To love one another in the church means that we must really be involved in each other’s lives. Jesus envisioned that His followers would have relationships that are committed and close.
This is why we have small groups at Bethel. This is one important way we join with one another to “do life together”. We cannot love one another from a distance. Small groups give us real people to serve, to enjoy, to be irritated with (let’s be realistic), to forgive and to be forgiven by. If we are not in a small group formally, we should be able to identify brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we are in relationships of mutual service, encouragement, and accountability.
This is what Jesus wants of us. It is not always easy, and we will be tempted to give up on one another, but that would be to fail Him.
So that brings me back to my question: Who are you sacrificially laying down your life for in the church these days? Let’s each take up our cross by loving those whom Jesus loves committedly, if imperfectly, humbly and sacrificially—even if at times those people fail us and hurt us. It’s the least we can do.
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