Today we discussed the 2nd purpose that God designed within our lives - Fellowship/Relationships. God the God of love; in many scriptures He is called love. He made us to have a relationship with him. That part was one of the most difficult for me to fathom. Here is a God so immense, so perfect, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and He wants a personal relationship with me. This same God who has created the universe that none can calculate its size. This God created more stars than any human can begin to imagine the total numbers. More stars than we could count. A universe so massive that our closest star is light years away and the farthest stars we can't begin to imagine the millions of light years away. The God who created all of this, cares if I love him or not. This God sent His son to die because He cares about how I will spend eternity. I will never fully get my brain wrapped around that.
But not only does He want us to love Him, he wants us to love one another. Jesus even said that the whole Bible - this book of laws, rules, precepts, and theology could be summed up into two commands from God. Love God with all that we have and all that we are, and to love one another like we love ourselves. Pretty danged simple, but we have the hardest time doing it. Why? Because we love ourselves first; and in so doing we leave little room to love anyone else.
Truly love them.
He doesn't want "Lone Ranger Christians". The ones who think they can go it alone. Yet from the very beginning, He said that it was not good that man exist alone. He even knew that relationships would be hard work - for us. We need to start living without the masks that we develop over the years. The masks that say - Hey, I'm not perfect, but you'll never get me to admit to any unacceptable imperfections. The masks that say, I don't have any problems, I don't need any help, I don't have any doubts. The masks we form for our church family, the other masks for our work relationships, the other masks for our home family, and the masks we have for our friends and relatives. Taking off the masks, and being absolutely transparent is totally counter intuitive. Hold up the shields at all costs. We do that to ourselves and to one another. Take them off, be vulnerable to one another...truly love.
He wants us to be hospitable, accepting, humble, nonjudgmental, friendly to one another; especially to other Christians. "They will know you are my disciples by your love." Love for one another. I think we fail that by our dogmatism in denominations. Some people think that denominations are like salad bowls or soups with differing flavors, something to suit each taste. I personally think that is a crock. We need to work together not against each other.
Why can't we just get along? :o) Because my circle is better than your circle, that's why. If you don't believe me, ask God, He'll tell ya! That is what we do to each other.
Fellowship...get along, share, support, give, take, care...LOVE