A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ~John 13:34-35
I had a pastor who cautioned us about the danger of using the “random finger” method of finding God’s will.
He often told the familiar story of the man who opened his Bible at random and pointed to Matthew 27:5. “Judas went out and hanged himself.” The man didn’t think that applied to him, so he tried a second time, opening to Luke 10:37: “Go thou and do likewise.” He didn’t think God really meant for him to follow Judas, so he tried one more time, and his finger fell on John 13:27: “That thou doest, do quickly.”
I thought I’d try it just for fun. I closed my eyes, let my Bible fall open, and tapped finger to page. It fell on Hebrews 13:1: “Let love of the brethren continue.”
And I laughed.
Because those words seem to enfold what David Platt talks about in chapters 6 and 7.
I looked up that little word, “let.” It’s meno in the Greek.
And the Greek for “continue?” Again, meno.
It’s all so simple.
Really. It is. Or should be.
It all comes back to love.
We love because He first loved us.
He is love.
And He lives in us.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. ~John 15:5
Can it be that all we need do to reproduce is to remain rooted?
That all we need do to catch fish is to follow hard after the great fish catcher?
That all we need do is surrender and yield supple so He can re-form, conform, and transform us?
That His will for us, to make disciples, will just naturally (or supernaturally) follow?
And maybe–maybe we don’t even know it? What if the seeds we shed sprout in our wake? What if we can’t see who’s behind because all we see is Who’s ahead?
Maybe we’ll be surprised at the end of our journey to learn we led, to find out we had a following.
All because we lived in love and loved in life.
Platt reminds us that we can’t do life alone.
As soon as we follow Christ, we start fishing for men. And as we do, we discover the distinct delight that is found not in searching for God’s will, but in experiencing God’s will. Even better than this, we discover that we belong to an entire community of brothers and sisters who are all committed to accomplishing the same purpose. ~p. 148
He goes so far as to say that “anyone who claims to be a Christian yet is not an active member of a church may not actually be a follower of Christ at all.” ~p. 150
Not just a member of a building where people “park and participate in programs,” but members of one body on a journey. It’s not about “dating” churches. It’s about committing to care for each other.
It’s about connecting in community, hanging out with the family like Jesus did with His disciples. Loving and holding each other accountable. About sharing the love.
We need silence and solitude, but we also need each other. And Jesus needs us to need each other because it’s through us He meets needs. It’s through us He carries out His will.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
For as Christians lock their arms and lives together with one another in local churches, nothing has the power to stop the global spread of God’s gospel to the ends of the earth. ~p. 173
So let the love of the brethren continue.
And let the finger-pointing cease.
Stilled by love,