First Love

But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!      Revelation 2:4 (New Living Translation)

I was having a discussion the other day with a church pastor who was disturbed by the lack of love shown to others outside his congregation. It was not just his congregation, he felt, but his growing sense that the Church in general had lost its love for others. His local church had, he felt, had become more “politically aligned” than “Jesus aligned”.

We discussed the inherent paradox of the gospel, and it appeared that the salvation of the Church may well come from outside of the traditional church. Wild, right? Yes, what a paradox.

What does that mean? The author of Revelation stated in chapter 2 verse 4, “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!”  I think the author meant that the gospel was about loving other people. It seems that “church people” may often not seem to love those outside of that somewhat tight circle quite as well as some people who are not “church people”.  Maybe people who identify as Jesus followers need to demonstrate radical love in ways like those who do not identify as “the Church” embrace others. No matter political ideology, we must align first with the commands of Jesus to love one another.

Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35).   We must always be aware of having our priorities right. If your political party disintegrated tomorrow, you would be fine, as long as your first priority is Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, give us wisdom in how we demonstrate your love to others, Amen

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