Words from the Heart for Sunday June 26th, 2016
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
The Christian life is compared to living as a family. Like any family, there will be challenges, misunderstandings, and difficulties. But this family has been taught how to live together. How are you doing in your relationships with other Christians? Are you treating one another as brothers and sisters who love one another?
There is only one province in Canada that I haven’t visited, and that’s Newfoundland and Labrador. One of these summers we are going to visit there – we even have family in that Atlantic province. And while there, I want to visit a unique couple of islands off the coast of Newfoundland – St. Pierre and Miquelon. What makes these islands unique? Well, it isn’t because of how they look – and you can actually see them from Newfoundland. In appearance the are absolutely identical to southern Newfoundland – same flora, same fauna, same economy. But travel there and you will immediately see the difference. These two islands belong to France and when you visit, you will feel you are in Europe – every morning begins with a trip to the bakery and the town shuts down for lunch.
Jesus loves His Church. He loves His people who make up His body, the Church. And His desire is for His people to get along with each other. In John 17 He prays that His followers would be one, just as He and His heavenly father are one. This is a spiritual mystery, and reality. The Body of Christ has a history of division that has led to conflict. Instead of the world knowing Jesus through the unity of believers, it too often sees the followers of Jesus as warring with each other. It was like this since the beginning of the church. 1 Peter 3:8 says “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” This command is just as appropriate for our day as it was in Peter’s day. Every Christian needs to heed the call of Peter here to be like minded. If we are to genuinely follow the Lord Jesus, we are called to represent Him by being like-minded with Him and with other believers. Even if there are differences in opinion, we are called to put on the mind of Christ and to love each other in spite of differences of opinion. There will be differences of opinion, but when we are obedient to Peter’s command to love one another, and be compassionate and humble, the differences of opinion become less important and the passion for unity within the Body of Christ become preeminent. How can you express love and compassion within the Body of Christ today?
These have been words from the heart.