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Love & Unity - and Worship (Part 2)

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We often hear Romans 12:1 quoted as a classic verse on worship:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (NIV)

But the rest of the chapter has a lot to say about love and unity.

. . . so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (verse 5)

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (verses 9-10)

Our love for one another is to be real. Genuine. Sincere. Not a superficial connection or cavalier attitude masquerading as love. This love is an active love that is rooted in God’s truth and God’s ways. (Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to hate what is evil and cling to what is good.) It’s a love that is devoted to one another, springing from our bond in Christ. It's a love that flows from the Holy Spirit's work in us, enabling us to obey Jesus' command to love one another. It’s a love that values every member because, as verse 5 tells us, we belong to one another. Did you get that? We belong to one another.

How’s your love life?

I know - this is the kind of stuff you’ve heard a thousand times if you’ve been in the church awhile. It carries a familiarity that often accompanies something we’ve neglected. So . . . linger here a moment. 

In the sphere of your worship ministry, how’s your love life? Is Jesus’ command to love another burning in your gut? Do you remember that it’s not our worship experiences that will prove we belong to Jesus? Jesus said all people will know we are his disciples by our love for one another. 

Are you viewing every person in your congregation as belonging to you? Do you love them? Do you value them? Every single one of them? Do any of your attitudes or actions say to different groups of people:

“I am devoted to you, but not to you.”

You are valuable to me, but you are not.”

We want to do this, but you are in our way!”

Do you look at any of your brothers and sisters with eye-rolling dismissal? Those precious ones belong to you - no matter what their age or status. Are you devoted to them? Do you honor them above yourself?

As we carry out the ministry of worship in our local churches, let us "love one another earnestly from a pure heart" (1 Peter 1:22). 

Much is at stake.



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