In asking the Lord what I should write to you this week, the passage of 1 Corinthians 13 came to mind. Verses 4-8a read:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Let me put these verses in a different format in hopes they will stand out better:
- Be patient and kind to one another.
- Do not be envious or boastful toward one another.
- Do not be arrogant or rude.
- Do not insist on your own way.
- Do not be irritable or resentful toward one another.
- Do not rejoice at wrongdoing. Instead, rejoice with the truth.
- Bear all things for one another.
- Believe all good things about one another.
- Hope all good things for one another.
- Endure all things for the sake of one another.
- Never stop loving one another.
Are we being this way toward one another? Older saints, are you being this way toward the younger families in our church, including the children? Men, are we being this way toward the women in our church? Those of you in the Seymour Growth Group, are you being this way toward those in the Faust Growth Group? Those of you who serve in various capacities, are you being this way toward those who aren’t serving in the same ways? Those of you who have come from different churches, are you being this way toward those who have been at Central Oaks for a long time? You who have been at Central Oaks for a long time, are you being this way toward newcomers?
Remember, church family, that the distinguishing factor that shows whether or not someone is a Christian is by the love we are to have for one another.