I am privileged to have visited 22 of our 28 field offices over the past five years. I am inspired by the love and commitment expressed by so many of our staff members and the staff and volunteers at dozens of Church Partners.
I have been challenged and humbled by the sacrifices I see being made by those closest to the children we serve. But I have also seen examples of envy, power struggles, anger, and broken relationships.
The success of Compassion and the Church is at risk when broken relationships prevail.
In John 13:34–35, Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another, saying they would be known as His disciples by the way they loved. The distinguishing characteristic of Jesus’ disciples was not their passionate worship, their eloquent prayers, their care for the poor, or their sacrificial giving.
No, Jesus said that it was their love for one another that would demonstrate to the world that they were His disciples.
In Matthew 5:23–24, Jesus said: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
Our relationship with God and our worship of Him is unacceptable as long as we allow divisions between us.
In Matthew 22:37–40, Jesus told us to love God with everything we have, and secondly, to love our neighbors as ourselves. I want to encourage you to ask God to reveal any offense or hurt you may have caused.
I challenge you to obey Christ’s command in Matthew 5:24 to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with your brother or sister.
In Luke 23:34–39, we see Jesus hanging on the cross, enduring unimaginable pain and shame as people mocked Him and cast lots for His clothing. Jesus’ response was not one of justice, but mercy, love, and forgiveness.
As His disciples, may we respond in the same spirit to those who have hurt us.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. — John 13:34–35, NIV
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word and for Your desire to bring restoration and reconciliation to the world. May we be Your ambassadors, demonstrating Your love for the world by our love for one another. Help us to extend the grace that we have received to all we meet. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Walt Hintz is an Audit Manager at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.
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So many Christians miss the importance of our loving each other and of our unity–despite our differences. So many others just gloss over it, considering it unrealistic; “after all, we’re only human!”
But we are not “only human.” If we have received Christ Jesus in our hearts, His own Holy Spirit resides in us. It is He who carries out the work of transforming our souls, renewing our minds, making us ever more like Christ, Himself. We don’t have the luxury of saying, “I’m only human!” Jesus did not die to leave us in our sins, but to free us from them and from the consequences of sin.
A dear friend and wonderful Bible scholar said, years ago, that we don’t pay as much attention as we ought to the words of Jesus. He was right, and I have been guilty of that in other areas. I have been guilty of it in this area, as well, and have asked the Lord to transform that in me. It will probably take the rest of my life to fit me for heaven. Or is that a “duh!”?