Main Truth: “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:23 NLT
Love can bring us to our highest highs and our lowest lows. We all know the pain of being wounded by those we love the most. The sick feeling in our guts when we hear a dear friend has shared a confidence in a bad light, a spouse who betrays us, a child that rejects us. Our natural fear response is to put up emotional walls so we can protect our hearts. However, over time we realize a life lived walled-off is isolating and lonely - not the life He died to give us.
As Christ followers and recipients of His one-way undeserved favor, we are called to a life of radical love. As His image bearers, we are commanded to bear with one another, forgive whatever grievances we have against one another, love one another deeply, cover each other’s multitude sins and keep no record of the wrongs done to us. Even during those times when discernment, wisdom and boundaries need to be implemented, we are still called to proceed in love as we call out truth.
Contrary to our culture, we are to patiently, kindly and humbly consider the needs of others as more significant than our own. ( 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Cor. 13:7) If you have a spouse, kids or any family at all, I’m sure you have had to love like this a time or two or your relationships wouldn’t last. But what about with our Church Family?
I don’t know about you, but when my flesh is challenged, it is much easier for me to get on board once I know the “why”. Once I am sold on the outcome, I can do the hard work required to achieve the end result. In Ephesians 4:12-13 we learn that all believers are being equipped for works of service so that the whole body can be built up. The equipping and building up process will continue UNTIL we all reach UNITY in the faith, become fully mature and ultimately, receive the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
In John 17, Christ prays to His Father for His Church and his prayer was that we would be ONE (just as Christ and the Father were one) SO THAT THE WORLD WOULD BELIEVE THAT CHRIST WAS SENT BY GOD AS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.
How is that for an end result?
Post written by: Janice Seal
Janice grew up in the Bay Area in a broken family. She met Christ in the 3rd grade at a neighborhood gathering for kids called a 5 Day Club. The woman who led the club took her to church where she was baptized and received her first bible. In later years, she encountered the ministry of Young Life where she deepened her faith and felt the call to love others with the love of Christ as she had been loved. She now serves at Powerhouse Ministries and claims it is the highlight of her week. Janice is married to her husband of 24 years and they have three children all now in college.