HOW DO WE PRACTICE THE LOVE OF CHRIST IN OUR CHURCHES?
I will start by referring to the Word of God. You can look up 1John the fourth chapter and start with the seventh verse and read the rest of the chapter. In the 20th verse it says that he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. It actually says that the one who says that he loves God, but hates his brother, is a liar.
If you love God, you must love your brother.
When I think about the Body of Christ, I do not primarily think of love. That is not what I see the most. On the contrary, I hear about division and envy, gossip and positions based on how close you are to the pastor or other leaders in the church. You will often find a spirit of control or the spirit of Jezebel. We read about Jezebel in The Old Testament. She was a woman thinking about her own position. She wanted to rule over others and she could do evil things in order to promote her own desires. She threatened the prophet Elisha when she heard that he had won a victory over all the Baals prophets. She actually wanted to kill the prophet. The same spirit wants today to kill the prophets or anybody with a strong and successful calling from God. If you are in a church with strong controlling spirits or a Jezebel spirit, get out and move to another church where The Spirit of God works freely. Many have been threatened when they live a church with control. They might hear that they lose God’s protection or other lies. God does not come with curses.
God is the One to distribute the gifts of The Spirit. He is also the One calling His children for different tasks or into ministry. He can speak to you and be sure that prophesies concerning yourself give you peace and joy. If they are not in accordance to what God has spoken to you, ignore them. The Lord loves all of His children and He wants everybody to succeed in their calling. I believe that a pastor is supposed to function as a shepherd. He should help his members to find their place in the Body of Christ and use the gifts God has given to them. If you love somebody, you get happy when that person succeeds. I cannot be a counsellor if I didn’t love the people I counsel. I get very pleased when I see positive changes in them. I am very happy when I see renewed love between a husband and his wife after they had considered to get divorce. Do I get envious? No, happy. Some pastors treat those with spiritual success badly. He might not see so many saved nor healed himself. I was despised when I by the grace of God saw people saved and healed in my former church. I knew that it was done by God and nothing I could boast of. I wish that the pastor could have praised God for His doings and that we together could have thanked God. The only thing I had done was to be obedient and use the gifts that God had given me.
I want us to read Galatians 5. In the 19th verse we read about the deeds of the flesh. That is: adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like. Paul is saying that those practicing this will not inherit the kingdom of God. I will not judge anyone, but the words are serious. Paul continues to describe the fruits of The Spirit. That is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Let us walk in the spirit.
I said that God is not cursing, but that does not mean that He cannot come to us and point out mistakes we are doing. When He has done that in my life, I get thankful. I want to be corrected when I am walking in the wrong direction. Some people think that the Lord is sweet and passive, but that is wrong. It is not loving to be indifferent to that which is wrong. Jesus got a holy wrath and He turned the tables around when the House of God was used for selling and buying. The temple should be a house of prayer, He said. (Matthew 21:12-18 ) If we had done the same, I think that somebody had called some security guards or maybe the police. Jesus said that we should not desecrate holy things. When we react against the wrong things, we should always do it in love. Paul writes a lot about warning people when they live in sin. In counselling I hear a lot about sinful behavior. I do not point a finger, but I cannot say that it is ok. Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery that she should not sin any more, but He did not stone her.
Jesus was often described as the Sacrificial Lamb. We are imagining somebody being hit without hitting back. We do forget that He also is the lamb of Judah and that the same spirit is living inside of us. I was yesterday reading psalm 94 and the 16th verse. It says: “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?. Unless the Lord had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence. It is not love to allow the devil to work freely. We, God’s children, have received the authority to be light and salt in this world. In Matthew it says that we should not hide the light, but let it shine.
USE YOUR AUTHORITY!