by Ray Harmer
Psalm 133 reminds Israel (and the Church yet non-existent) to be a band of brothers. Aside from a personal relationship with God, it is the most important part of being a child of God. Love for the brethren will prove to the world that we indeed are His children. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). Unfortunately, many Christians do not exhibit Christ-like behavior.
Witnessing would be easier, for those that go, if we all did our part as Christ’s disciples. Many a pastor/worker has knocked on doors only to get the ‘hypocrite’ or ‘phony’ Christian spiel. Some of it is true! James warns us, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (3:10). To most it is an excuse to appease their conscience. I’ve known quite a few and so have you. One of the most notable personages to have used this excuse was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “I’d be a Christian if it were not for the Christians.” We all have been hurt by brother or sister ‘so and so’, but we need to move on. The Master said, “…Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you” (Luke 6:27).
Some of us are hard to love, believe me, and we must pray we are not among those. We must pray to God to reveal any of these traits in us and be rid of them. Sadly, this is not always limited to the outside world. Some of it happens in church-God forbid! May we do our utmost to prevent this in our church. The avoidance of cliques and favoritism goes well in prevention. “Believers are one in Christ…let’s avoid being in a little exclusive clique. Unfortunately, we have a lot of cliques in our churches today. Many people would rather be big fish in little ponds than little fish in big ponds. How much better it is for all believers to “dwell together in unity!” (J. V. McGee).
Just how precious is it for us to mirror Christ? “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments” (vs. 2). Barnes comments, “…The idea is that the anointing oil was abundant enough to flow down so as to fall on his entire robe, diffusing a sweet fragrance all around… It was not merely the head, but the beard, the raiment, the entire person…thus love in a Christian community is so abundant – so overflowing – that it spreads over all the spiritual body, the church….” Are we, “An odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God (Ph. 4:18)? Time for a smell-check!
December 14, 2018
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