Friday, August 22, 2014
“Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, SO THAT YOU WILL BEHAVE PROPERLY TOWARD OUTSIDERS and not be in any need” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.
Man! You know what? When I meet people who truly love the Lord with all they are, it is evident to me, and the love between us is instantaneous because of Christ. The Spirit makes us one together and love comes easy. But we are called to EXCEL-STILL-MORE by loving not only those who are easy for us to love, but those who are not, those who are OUTSIDERS among us.
Jesus said it this way, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).
One of the greatest travesties to see in any church is groups called “clicks”. Usually it is people who have been friends for a long time, and most, I have found, do not realize they have become a “click”, making newcomers feel there is to place for them to belong and no way to fit in.
I know of one such group that made plans for lunch during Sunday School class. Another classmate sitting there, thinking she
was in on the conversation, said, “See you at such-and-such restaurant for lunch!” To which came the reply, “You weren’t invited!” This type clickish behavior is not love as God desires us to have it. Such behavior has been the cause of many who are looking for a place to belong ending up falling away from the body of Christ. And it is a shame.
An “outsider” is not just those of the world. Anyone who is outside our group looking in while we look back, too often with disdain, is an outsider, and we are called to love.
Let’s each consider our love walk before the Lord today, beloved. How are you doing? Pray as God leads you that you may excel still more, being perfected in love, just as He is.
If we are the Body why aren’t His arms reaching ~ Casting Crowns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_7j1SMuTN0&index=3&list=PLfiEjLIYhJ9D5uO8HPNrboor4Oa8LaJdA