Love in the Church

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John‬ ‭13‬:‭34-35‬

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Jesus said that people we know the church by their love for one another. Over the last several days I’ve talked about how real love is supernatural. That only through God, who IS love, is it possible to love deeply and unconditionally. You would think because He is love His church would be marked by love. People should notice a stark difference between the church and the rest of the world. We have the power to love like no one else and the world should be amazed by the way we live one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This however is not the reality in the church I see today, at least not the American church. There is so much materialism, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, pride, insecurity, hypocrisy, and numerous other sinful behaviors that lead us to either leave the church altogether or end up divided into cliques of people that look very similar to much of our culture. Today while listening to one of my favorite podcast (In the Market with Janet Parshall) I was struck by this quote.

“And what’s powerful about this is the kind of love we are talking about is not the kind of love you share with people who are just like you. Sometimes people want to say ‘hey, I get together with my friends and we have a good time. We talk about spiritual things and that’s my church.” I love the way one theologian put it. He said basically ‘If you are just loving people who are like you that’s nothing more than self love spread over a slightly wider area.’ Now what’s supernatural is when you begin to love people from different class backgrounds, racial backgrounds, people who are coming out of different lifestyles, when people who otherwise have nothing in common except for Christ are loving each other deeply.”

 

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