Part of the Family

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. —1 John 3:14  

Pastor J. Vernon McGee once said the only exercise some Christians get is running down others and jumping to conclusions.

It saddens me when I see Christians fighting with each other, and even worse, dividing over theological minutiae or even style of ministry.

When Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” notice that He used the word our. Jesus is teaching us a family prayer that we offer together with other believers. When you become a Christian, you become part of God’s family. It’s called the church. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.

In three moving prayers of confession in the Old Testament, in Ezra 9  , Nehemiah 9  , and Daniel 9  , the pronoun we is used frequently in every one of those prayers. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel were not guilty of the sins they were confessing, but they identified themselves with the people who were praying. They said, in effect, “Lord, we have sinned against you. We have done this evil. We’re all in this together.”

Paul issued this warning to the Galatians: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (5:14-15 NKJV). We should not be biting and devouring one another. We should be loving and forgiving one another.

Some people are lovable. There is something we like about a person that is easy to love. But other people are not lovable. They’re cantankerous. They’re irritating. If they are part of the church, then they are our brothers and sisters, too, and we are to love them. If we can’t love unlovable people, then how much do we really know about the love of God?

Pastor Greg Laurie