Think about how the New Testament describes the early church in Acts 2:42-47 [NIV]:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. … Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What a difference would be made in our lives, our homes, our churches, our communities, or world if we reflected God’s love to all persons we meet throughout our day! The early church was known by their care and love for each other. Theirs was not a maudlin kind of service – Scripture says they were together with “glad and sincere hearts” and they praised God and enjoyed “the favor of all the people.” Incredible. No wonder that, as a result of their gospel-driven witness, the Lord added to their number daily.
I don’t think our response to the love showered upon us by God through Christ Jesus is intended to result in our withdrawal from society so that we hoard our time with God and ignore our fellow creatures on this whirling sphere we call Earth. No, that is not the life to which Jesus calls us. Rather, He calls us to serve others, as He came to serve. Matthew 20:26-28.
Where is the evidence of my life in Christ? The evidence, my friend, is my focused dedication to obey the commands of my Savior as found in Scripture, the foundational command of Jesus being that we are to first love God with all our strength, mind and heart and then we are also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Luke 10:27.
In fact, Jesus says that people will know that we are His disciples by the love we show to others. John 13:35.
Do I enjoy being with my brothers and sisters in the Lord when I meet with them during worship on Sunday morning, or during Bible study in Sunday School, or during the Women’s Circle Bible Study, or during Choir rehearsal? Do I cherish the people in my church and seek to attend to their needs?
Do I reach out in ministry to others beyond the walls of my church, perhaps even beyond my comfort zone? Do people see the evidence of my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who is my Savior?
I know that I have failed to be the loving witness Christ calls me to be, but I pray that each day I come closer and closer to the target of reflecting Jesus to others, of loving them as Jesus loved them.
Beloved, what has been the evidence of your relationship with Jesus?
How much do you love Jesus? How much do you love those whom Jesus loved?
Father, may I express my love to your Son, my Savior Jesus Christ, by ministering to those He loves, whether they may be among my friends or not. May I express my love to you, Father, by studying your Word and praying, listening to the Holy Spirit urge and direct me as I walk the path you have preordained for me to tread. Thank you Father for your Spirit who comforts, encourages and strengthens me. Please give me grace that I may continue to love and serve You throughout my days, even on the hard ones.