I love our Church! God is definitely working in our community, building friendships, restoring relationships, and encouraging Christ-like living. One of the most popular parts of our service is the welcome time. Sometimes, I could get lost in that time as we welcome each other with smiles, handshakes, and heart-filled hugs.
I am looking for the day when we do that throughout the week as we grow together seeking to become more like Christ. Loving each other is a mark of a Christian community.
In Romans 12:9-21, Paul identifies the “marks of a genuine Christian.”
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.Romans 12:9-13 (ESV)
Now, as I read just these few verses I find myself lacking in many ways. For the most part, I measure up pretty well, yet is my love always genuine or is it sometimes feigned? Do I go out of my way to show honor someone else or am I jealous of their success? Am I really hospitable or do I treasure my alone time too much?
Since God is the discerner of the motives of the heart, we must echo the words of the psalmist when he cries out, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalms 139:23-24 (ESV)
May God work His love through each of us.