“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.” 1 John 5:1
Who do you love? Does it show?
When we are adopted into God’s spiritual family, we should love the church, just as we love our earthly family.
Look around or consider your Community Group. By worldly standards, how much do you have in common with the people in your little slice of the body of Christ? Probably not much. In fact, the only thing you can count on having in common is Jesus—and that’s enough.
The Apostle John says that we should live in love and unity with other believers because the same Spirit dwells in all of us and knits us together.
So what does it mean to love other believers? Do you enjoy spending time with them? Are you hospitable, do you open your home to them? Are you willing to sit with them through dark seasons of spiritual dryness or emotional trials? Do you seek to forgive them when you have been hurt or wronged? Do you ask for God’s help to do these things?
All those things I listed above are not natural for me. Left to myself, I would prefer to be aloof, gruff, and cold. (Sometimes I still am. Sorry.) I know the Spirit is working in me because most of the time these days, I do desire to be warm and caring and to extend myself to and for others.
At the heart of the matter is the phrase “left to myself.” So often, our lives can get to a “cruising speed” where we just go on autopilot and “manage.” Go to work. Do chores. Spend a little time with family or friends or watch TV. Go to sleep. Do it again. It’s at times like these when our attention is focused on ourselves, our tasks, on getting by, that you usually won’t find time or desire to love your brothers and sisters in Christ.
If not on ourselves, where should our focus lie? 1 John 5:1 reminds us that, as we love the Father, our love for others is an extension of that love. Does your life show your love for the Father? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ who has been born of God? I urge you to spend intentional time looking to Jesus this week. When we look to Jesus, he changes our hearts to be more loving. Are you spending time with Jesus so that he can change your heart? This week as you pray, ask God to show you what or whom you love in your day-to-day life. Ask him to soften your heart to the people around you, especially the ones you might normally have a hard time with. Ask him to show you needs in the people around you and give you a heart to care for them right where they are.
How about you? Do you see the Spirit working in your heart to love others? Have you asked him to?