A Message

Jesus Christ, when His time to die was near, commanded His disciples to love one another. He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34,35)

Very often, we may have neglected to do this. Instead of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, we forget and continue living as men and women under sin and death. Jesus meant for us to unconditionally love one another—to go out of our way and comfort zones to actually show genuine concern and care for one another.

We are to ask ourselves, “Have we loved you unconditionally?”

We are guilty. We have fallen short. We do not know if we have truly loved you and the rest of our brothers and sisters as Jesus loved us.

But what is the Biblical response that will glorify the Lord? Should you repay our lack of love and failure to love with the same? Do you feel that our absence justifies detaching yourself to find love where it abounds?

We are brothers and sisters not because we belong to the same church, the same organization or the same dorm. God commanded us to love one another unconditionally because we belong to the same Body, we are justified by the same Blood, saved by the same Faith. We are brothers and sisters because we confess the same Jesus as Lord, we worship the same God the Father and we are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit.

And for this, the Apostle Paul urges us, “Be completely humble, and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4: 2,3)

Have we all been humble in our dealings with one another? Have we been patient? Have we bore one another in love? Have we kept the unity of the Spirit? Do we have peace?
Shame to us! In our lives we continue to conform to the ways and patterns of this world. Instead of humility, we have pride. Instead of patience, short temper. Instead of love, we have anger, deceit and malice. Instead of unity, there is division. Instead of peace, disagreement and hatred abound.

If Paul were alive today, he would tell us like he told the Church in Rome, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

What is God’s will now? Does He desire for us to leave when we no longer feel comfortable with our brothers and sisters? Or is it His will that we learn to live together?

I believe He wants us to do the second one. To learn to live together, we need to strip off pretensions and masks. We have to live a life devoted to Him, focused on Him, leaving nothing to ourselves for Him.

Hebrews 10:24 tells us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

On this fallen world, the company of believers is our glimpse of eternity. Here we encourage one another, we share one another’s burdens, we exhort one another, pray for one another, lift up praises of one another. We can do this if we are together. But even if one who is among us decides to leave, our prayers remain with him.

In the fellowship, we also rebuke the mistakes of one another. This may be the most difficult part of being a Christian, but if we refuse to confront with love, we are no different to the world that settles for superficial relationships.

Listen, for what I have to say, I say with finality. And trust me when I say writing these words was accompanied by prayer that I may use the most loving ones without watering down what you need to hear.

We are hurt by your choices. We acknowledge our shortcomings and ask for forgiveness. But we see pride in your decisions to carry your burdens alone. We see pride in your refusal to open up and actually deal with the root of the problem. We see pride for you constantly disregard our attempts to reach out. I am not alone in speaking these words. We are sorry. Trust us when we echo the Scripture: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

Contrary to what you think, this is not about me and my hurts because I have lifted them to the Lord a very long time ago. I am not seeking to win you back for myself. We are seeking to win you back because you are to us a brother in Christ.

Sorry for our lack of affection. Sorry for the words we said or the words unsaid. Sorry for the times you were not invited. Sorry for the jokes you missed. Sorry for all the times you were left out.

Trust me; it’s all up to you now. You may not believe all that I have said because they are contrary to what you experienced. But we have changed. God’s grace and love are beyond our understanding that even the grip of sin can be shattered by Him.

It’s all up to you now. We are here waiting. We are here praying. We are here hoping.

Have mercy on us, O God,
According to your unfailing love;
According to your great compassion
Blot out our transgressions

Wash away all our iniquity
And cleanse us from our sin
For we know our transgressions
And our sin is always before us
Against you, you only have we sinned
And done what is evil in your sight
So that you are proved right when you speak
And justified when you judge.

Surely we were sinful at birth
Sinful from the time our mothers conceived us
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts
You teach us wisdom in the inmost place.

Cleanse us with hyssop, and we will be clean
Wash us and we will be whiter than snow
Let us hear joy and gladness
Let the bones you have crushed rejoice
Hide your face from our sins
And blot out all our iniquity

Create in us a pure heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within us
Do not cast us from your presence
Or take your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of our salvation
And grant us a willing spirit to sustain us.

Happy Birthday.:’)
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