Text: “...Be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus, that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Good morning, Spirit-led Christian! Because Christ has loved you - with all your weaknesses, faults, and failings - and loved you enough to lay down His very life for you upon the Cross; you are led by the Holy Spirit within you to love others who seem, perhaps, even weaker in faith than yourself. This is what I call Love’s Convictions: a love within which reveals a strong outer conviction to love others as Christ loves us. This could also be referred to as Spiritual love in action. (James 2:26) (John 13:34-35)
It is every true Christian’s reasonable duty and God-given responsibility to exercise a love towards weaker, more apparently vulnerable, brothers/sisters in any given Church group. There is indeed one way of ensuring that we are consistently trying to exercise this true Christ like love. (James 1:22)
This method entails a simple reminding oneself of one’s own personal weaknesses, faults and, if we are honest, frequent failings when compared - not to the local Pastor, not to a respected and otherwise Godly elder; nor to the Sunday-school teacher - but to the altogether Holy and truly perfect, Christ Himself. (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Christ is God’s standard for us in all things, but especially in the area of righteousness - an asset of which we mere mortals are completely devoid. (Romans 3:10) (Isaiah 64:6)
Therefore, when we are honest with ourselves as to our own personal and utter failure to match up to Christ’s perfection, we shall be more ready to receive the weaker, more apparently vulnerable, believers into our fellowship and to encourage them to be strong in the Lord. (Matthew 7:1-5) (Galatians 6:2)
The Lord is bigger that all our pathetic problems, faults, and shortcomings; His grace is indeed all sufficient for us. Hallelujah! What a Saviour! Amen. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
However, with the above concept in mind, there is one thing we must not forget. The Lord cannot abide blatant hypocrisy! We must, therefore, be sure to follow closely the revealed instruction given to us in verse seven of this morning’s Bible reading. We must be gracious in receiving other born again believers, knowing how gracious the Lord Jesus has been in receiving weak, Hell-deserving, sinners such as we. (Romans 6:23)
If we can comprehend this concept more fully, and put it into practice as it pertains to other ‘weaker’ brothers/sisters, we shall in fact prove to ourselves that we possess a love which convicts. A love which does not convict us into practical action is a love which is selfish, and useless as a means of bringing glory to the Lord God. (1 John 4:7-8;21)
True convicting love is also exercised in plainly spoken rebukes to those who are seen to be either flaunting obvious weaknesses before a fault-finding world, or persisting in sin which is clearly open to the fellowship group and thus a hindrance to younger believers in the faith. (i.e. cigarette smoking!) (1 Corinthians 6:12)
Yet, convicting love rebukes, corrects in a spirit of Christ like meekness, and such corrective rebuke is given at all times in order to restore the offender to close fellowship with God and with the Church group. It cannot be criticism for criticism’s sake! (Galatians 6:1) (Romans 3:22-23)
With the present lesson in mind, let us therefore love on with convicting love, yet, ‘be there’ at great personal depth for each other, and for all those of ‘...like precious faith...’ in Christ Jesus. Amen! So be it, Lord.
Thought: When searching for faults - search FIRST for your own!