Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fellowship With God and With Others in the Church

The previous post was about love, here is another article also about love from a devotion which is meaningful.

“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.”

3 John 11

Love needs truth to have a backbone. A concern for the truth will determine the proper boundaries between what is faith and what is not. Love needs the support of sound doctrine to be effective. By itself, mere passion can be foolish or destructive. The proper order in the life of the church is “ready, aim, fire”, not “ready, fire, aim”.

But truth needs love, too. John’s concern in this memo is that the church be loving and hospitable, “so that we may work together for the truth”. Let the emphasis here fall on the word “together”. Jesus said the greatest argument for the truth of the gospel would be the unity of his people. Note that he didn’t say the greatest argument for the truth would be an argument! Beyond words and powerful rhetoric, as important as they are is the love of Christ manifest in Christ’s people. The truth is credible only when we proclaim it in the way live together. That’s why Diotrephes is such a dangerous man. He “loves to be first”, gossips maliciously, refuses to welcome other Christian leaders, and even goes to great lengths to prevent others from doing so. That means he is more than an irritant in the church, he is an enemy of the truth.

Pray for your church. Pray that the truth of Christ will be commended to outsiders by the way you live together. Shun absolutely gossip and slander, backbiting and competition, so you can pray and work together.

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