[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]Walking in love with fellow believers is among the ABCs of Christianity. Even so, it seems to also be among the least practiced of the Bible basics that we have. And the problem with that is that a lot of things would turn around for the better in people’s lives, if they would simply obey the Bible and walk in love.[/x_custom_headline]
Your New Testament is filled with verses about walking in love with fellow believers. In fact, Jesus made the following statement about the impact our love for other believers would make on the rest of the world.
[x_blockquote cite=”John 13:34-35 KJV” type=”left”]“34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”[/x_blockquote]
The number one testimony we have for reaching the world is our love for one another in the Kingdom of God. And the primary way we demonstrate that is within our own local church.
[highlight]It find it a bit odd that so many Christians seem to have no problem walking in love with a TV preacher[/highlight] for example, whom they have never even met, and will defend this person almost to the death if someone speaks against him or her. Yet walking in love with their own pastor seems extremely difficult for these same individuals. The real proof of the genuineness of your love walk is found in the love you have for those the closest to you, not those you’ve never met.
I have watched how people will sacrifice their time and their money to assist some other ministry, but won’t lift a finger to do anything at their own local church. Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not telling you that we should not be supportive of missionaries and other ministry projects outside of our own local church, because we should. Especially if our pastor is directing us to do so. But what I am saying is that many people who are so quick to respond to issues and opportunities that arise in ministries outside of their own local church, are often among those who neglect and ignore them when they occur in their church.
For example, I have seen men who will take time off from work to join with other men to drive ten hours one way to help put a roof on a new church or school building an outreach ministry is starting. [highlight]Yet that same man wouldn’t take fifteen minutes to help install a shelf in the children’s ministry of their own church. That is something wrong with this picture.[/highlight]
Although I applaud them for helping the outreach, there is still a problem in a person’s life when they refuse to love their own pastor, and their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at their home church enough to lend a hand there. There is a severe breach in someone’s love walk in cases such as these.
Here is an extremely important verse that every believer should learn, meditate, and practice in their lives continually, in regards to our love walk and our local church.
[x_blockquote cite=”Ephesians 4:16 NASU” type=”left”]“From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”[/x_blockquote]
This verse is telling us that the local church grows and advances when the people within the local church love the pastor and one another enough to add their part and their supply.
Very simply, it is a lack of love that keeps people from sowing and working in their local church. And it is that lack of love that is preventing local churches from growing and accomplishing all that God has called them to be and to do.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]It is hypocritical to state that you love your church, and come and feed off of everything wonderful about it, but then refuse to present your tithes and offerings to the Lord there. That isn’t the love walk in action. In fact, it is just the opposite.[/x_custom_headline]
When a person will shake the hands of a young couple in their church, and tell them how much they love them, but then not sow a dime into the building fund for the remodeling of the church nursery department where this same young couple are bringing their children to be ministered to each week, are they really being honest about their love for them?
Or when a man refuses to grow up spiritually and take a stand, and put on a suit and tie to join the usher department that adds order and security to the church services, all because it will take him out of his own comfort zone, then that man is violating the law of love.
Or by the same token, if a believers states that they love the pastor, but refuses to follow his directives about being faithful in church attendance, attending prayer meetings, and reaching the lost, all of which the pastor they say they love must have them involved in if the church is going to grow, [highlight]should he really believe that they love him?[/highlight]
The local church is the best place for you to practice and demonstrate the love walk. And if you are truly operating in the love of God, it will be visible in your financial commitment, personal hands-on involvement, and willingness to sacrifice in your own local church.
[highlight]Agape love and the local church go hand-in-hand.[/highlight] So take an inventory of your love walk today, and make sure that you are adding your supply to help your pastor to grow and develop your local church.