The title of this article expresses a vitally important truth to the entire church. God’s own Words establish this statement with focused certainty. See if you can hear this truth expressed by God Himself in the following quotes from God’s heart to us:
“Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality non-reluctantly to one another. As each has received a gift, minister it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:8-10)
“Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called into the one body. And be thankful.” ( Col. 3:14-15 )
May I ask that you take note of a couple of repeated expressions in these two verses from God. Firstly, notice that both of these verses begin with the words, “above all.” When God Himself uses the expression “above all” He is urging us to take what He is saying to be of utmost importance. This deliberate urging from God for us to “above all” be His loving people either gets our concerned attention, or becomes no more than a series of words we don’t even hear. Secondly, notice the repeated words “one another.” They find God pressing hard on us to show fervent love to those He brings into our presence.
Almost every time we meet as a church, God brings people among us (visitors) whom He counts on us to “love with unfailing love.” Many, or even most, of them need to meet and even bond with people who seem to really care about them. Such opportunities as this offer us a chance to show God that we have heard what He said was “above all.” Perhaps a powerful statement that Jesus spoke in Matthew 25 is applicable here. He said, “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.”
What a serious matter if such people came among us and what was “above all” to God never got enough attention from us to move us to extend such love to them.
May it be that when people (visitors or friends) meet with us to worship God they go away impressed with how we welcomed them, began bonding relationships with them, and made them feel like “one of us.”