Have you considered the church lately? That might seem an odd question since you are reading this in a Christian publication. However, have you thought about the Lord's body in a way that made you glad you were a part of it and truly believed you were among a special people?
The design of the Father is perfect. The church is the body of Christ and the bride of Christ. Both of these comparisons show that not only does Jesus Christ love His people but also He considers them part of Himself. Put a different way, the church is married to and a part of the Creator of the universe. How could we not appreciate something so awe inspiring and profound? As members of Christ's church, we are humbled at so great a privilege.
If we are appreciative and humbled by the honor to be a part of the church, then we will look at other members of the body in a new light. Understanding that the Lord loves other Christians just as much as He loves us will help us not to become prideful. We will realize that neither we nor our brothers and sisters in Christ are above making mistakes. Perhaps we may find cause to be angry with another Christian, but knowing the Lord also died for the one who wronged us will, hopefully, cause our patience and forgiveness to be overflowing.
Remember what Jesus said about the unforgiving servant? The man was in great debt. When it was time to "pay up," he begged for mercy, and mercy was granted. He then went to his fellow servant and harshly demanded payment and enacted punishment. The result was that, when the master was informed, the unmerciful servant was condemned and imprisoned. How much better off would he have been if only he had showed his brother a fraction of the mercy he had received?
The Christian should show all love, forgiveness, and mercy. How would you treat Jesus if He were here in bodily form right now? Is this any different from how you treat His body the church? Should it be? God designed the church. His design is perfect. People are flawed. Let us be patient with each other, forgive when necessary, and love always. Give thanks daily for the church!
"Beloved, if God so loved us we also ought to love one another." -1 John 4:11. -1634 New Bern St., Newport, NC 28570. firstname.lastname@example.org
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