June 23

Our Greatest Treasure, Part 3

Romans 12:3-15 For I say… not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another….

Romans 12:9-16 Let love be without hypocrisy….Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality….Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came up and…asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

If we really want to get to know God well, we will be a devoted, integral part of His people. We can see from Romans (above) that one of the manifestations of a prideful spirit is not recognizing the Body of Christ and not participating in it with the love of God. Look at what He instructs us to do: love, be kindly affectionate, give preference, rejoice and weep with others, associate with the humble. These can’t be done alone. These are only done in relationship with others.

If we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15, I John 2:3, I John 5:3). So if we love Him, we will obey all these scriptures that have to do with interrelating with His people. For the times when we struggle with people, we need to remember that when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He answered with two, not one. Why? Because He sees the unity of them. He sees them as one.

In the heart of God, loving Him means also loving His people. Loving Him means getting in there, letting iron sharpen iron (Proverbs 27:17), letting God use people to shape us into the image of Jesus, and letting Him use us to minister to His people (Romans 12:6). If we pull back from His people, we are pulling back from God.

On the other hand, as we let ourselves belong, as we connect with others and experience the bumps and bruises of human interaction, we learn more and more about God. We learn His patience, His longsuffering, and especially, His great love. There are aspects of God’s character and heart that we are only going to learn in community. And we bless and thank Him for that!

Prayer: Lord, it’s easy to love You, and often hard to love others. But thank You that You want me to live in relationship with others. Use them in my life. Use me in theirs. And help us all to come to know You more in the process.

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