When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus' answer probably astounded His listeners: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, but there is another like this. Love your neighbor as yourself." They probably expected the first part of His answer but had never thought the second part mattered. But it does.
That Paul would have to even pen the words, "Be kindly affectionate to one another," is a bit baffling. It is important to note that Paul was writing to Jesus Followers. He wasn't writing this letter to those of other religions or faiths or even to those who had no faith at all. He was writing to those in the church; ones whose salvation had been paid for with the blood of Jesus. Paul was exhorting and challenging his listeners to give preference to the needs and desires of others so as not to hinder the spread of the Gospel. Have we ever thought that our actions and our decisions have any implication for the spread of the Gospel or the building of the Kingdom?
Furthermore, do we recognize that our love for each other and our bearing of each other's burdens are a witness of Christ in and of themselves? They are. Our lack of love for others inside the church can negate our words concerning the Gospel. We want Him to be known and worshipped. We want to experience more of God’s presence individually and as a church, and we can as we love others in our fellowship and honor them above ourselves.
Prayer for the Day:
Lord, forgive me for thinking of me first. Lord, You didn't come to be served but to serve. That is exactly what I want to do. I do not want to put my wants above the needs of others. As I serve others, I know that You are serving through me. I pray that You would love through me and that our church could experience more of You because of my obedience to You.