There are two things Jesus taught his disciples, that we desperately need as a church. It’s time we gave them them our undivided attention. In John 13:35 He said,
“They will know you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
He also said in John 17:23,
“I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in
unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me,
and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.”
These two scriptures have a lot in common. First of all, they speak about identity. Love shouts to the world about who we are. Unity cries out a message about who He is.
Together, love and unity tell the world that
1) Jesus loves them and died for them.
2) We are authentic Christians.
All the programs and polished efforts to get the world’s attention cannot replace love and unity. It’s foundational to everything we do. God is love and lives as a unified being. These two concepts reflect God to the core of His identity.
As women, we make village life happen in our churches, with dinner plans, games, skits and centerpieces. Theses are good things, and every bit essential when we keep their importance in their proper place. Yet ministry and our spiritual lives need this essential foundation built on a like-mindedness that strives for the love of Christ.
It takes a conscious effort to achieve this dynamic in our churches and women’s groups. We won’t always agree. But we have the living and active Word of God to sort out our thinking. He tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13,
“But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
When unity is sought after, we must remember that it must be submissive to love, or we’ll just argue our way to heaven. Then, consider how important faith is – we are saved by grace through faith, (Eph 2:8). Love trumps even our faith.
Lord Jesus, help us as a church to find love and unity waiting at the doorstep of our hearts and may we let you in.