Fellowship Matters – We Need to Love One Another

Fellowship Matters – We Need to Love One Another

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by Mike Wiersema

We Need to Love One Another

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2

Throughout my years of being a Christian I have been drawn to the beauty of the love of God displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I have been grateful that I have been marked and sealed with this great love of the Savior for me. At the same time I knew I was commanded to love others with this sacrificing love. How could this be possible? I knew, at some level, in my mind and heart the mystery and purity of the love that I received from God, but I wondered why was I continually failing to love others in a selfless, self–sacrificing way. Why were my efforts so weak and ineffective? Why was too much of my behavior towards my wife, children and co-workers marked by selfishness and anger? Why did I feel trapped inside myself, that the harder I tried to love others the more I failed? I prayed. I read the Bible. I confessed my sins to the people I hurt through my anger and selfishness. I asked for help from small group members. All this effort and confession just led to more and more discouragement and feelings of condemnation. I was stuck and hopeless with nowhere to turn.

And then it happened. God, in His mercy, began to reveal to me that, yes, I was a sinner, but I was also created in the image of God with value, dignity and worth (Gen. 1:27).

I realized that I had not truly believed this truth, and that I had often looked to others as a gauge of my worth, value, and loveliness. I was addicted to performance and people-pleasing, and when I failed or disappointed people, I would not feel their respect and would often lash out in anger towards them. My need for external affirmation made me self-consumed and selfish. I had no time or energy to love others. Praise God that He allowed me to believe His love for me in my heart of hearts. I was set free to love others!

This truth of the power of Jesus’ blood and His amazing love for me displayed on the cross has set me free, for the first time in my Christian life, to truly follow Jesus’ example and commandment to love others in a selfless, self-sacrificing way. Now, instead of my life being marked by anger and selfishness, it is more and more characterized by humility, gentleness, and bearing with others. What joy and liberty I have found! I am reminded of the Charles Wesley hymn, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?”

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain –
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love, How can it be,
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Friends, we are loved by God! Let’s love one another.

Mike Wiersema


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