An American girl whom I had met in India last year had posted these words of her fiancee whom she has known for less than a year. He has gone out of the way to help her get her work done and when thanked these were his words, “We are a Team”. How beautiful to find a life partner with whom both can be a team, the comparable help mates and be Kingdom minded together!
Often people look for a partner and fall prey or get misled by words… A number of people – perhaps with good intentions – utter many promises of what will they will do “IF” they were to date. However, nothing had been done over the period of the friendship. True love will act without any expectations, without the motive of “what’s in this for me?” It would be giving no matter what.
Likewise, do we as believers truly love God? If we truly believed God, we would be spurred onto intimacy with our Father. If we truly had intimacy with God, we will seek FIRST the Kingdom of God. If we were to seek the Kingdom of God we will love one another as Jesus loved us. Are we a Kingdom team?
Jesus clearly said we will be known as His disciples by our LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. How is our love for one another evident? What would people see if they paused and observed our lives? Would they see how we are worried about ourselves and our families? Would they see us giving priority in all circumstances to our finances, to our needs, to our families, to our future, to our education? Or would they see us truly loving God in SPIRIT and in truth, and also looking out for those around us as if we would do for ourselves?
Giving charity, giving the loose change from our pockets – that’s not really difficult. However are we able to consistently look out for the Kingdom of God and thus our neighbours in a consistent manner which often then becomes a SACRIFICIAL act?
- Are we devoted to one another in brotherly love and honour one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10)?
- Are we living in harmony with one another, not being proud, but willing to associate with people of low position? (Romans 12:16)?
- Are we having no debt remaining outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another FOR HE WHO LOVES HIS FELLOWMAN HAS FULFILLED THE LAW (Romans 13:8). (Having said this, the sins committed prior to embracing Christ which have then since been confessed with a U-turn in life, He doesn’t hold that against us as that is the past which Christ’s blood has turned into a clean slate. Now we need to keep short records with God, daily… Confess when convicted and repent. Repentance means making a U-turn.
- Are we able to stop passing judgment on one another and instead make up our minds not to put an stumbling block or obstacle in our brothers’ ways (Romans 14;13)? Judging and judgment have a fine line.. We ought to ‘judge’ as Christians with the gift of discernment, not through assumption but clearly looking into the matter deeply hearing the person out. Judgment is jumping to conclusions and looking at things superficially.
- Are we able to accept one another just as Christ accepted us IN ORDER TO BRING PRAISE TO GOD (Romans 15:7)?
- If we are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to do so, do we instruct one another (Romans 15:14)?
- Do we greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12)? A sign of welcoming with affection – are we able to greet each other with affection or do we prefer to literally keep each other at arm’s length?
- Do we use our freedom to indulge the sinful nature or do we rather serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13)?
- Are we completely humble and gentle; being patient and bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2)?
- Are we kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave us (Ephesians 4:32)? Do we bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we may have against one another (Colossians 3:13)?
- Do we speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19) ?
- Do we submit to one another OUT OF REVERENCE for Christ (Ephesians 5:21)? Submission isn’t an easy thing, and especially in hierarchal societies where people demand respect based on class, education, age and title. It’s amusing to watch pastors being idolised. Even Jesus made sure He was constantly pointing towards the Father despite being ONE with Him.
- Do we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom? For that to take place do we actually let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16)? How often do we use earthly wisdom or our cultural beliefs or traditions to admonish one another? How much of our teaching and admonition is based on the Word of Christ coupled with the WORK of Christ? Why are we happy to lay down rules at the cost of relationship promoting culture instead?
- Do we encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) or do we tear each other down instead? Are we encouraging one another DAILY, as long as it is called today, so that none of us may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13)? Are we meeting together while doing this (Hebrews 10:25)?
Often we interpret this Hebrews 10:25 verse as gathering for a Sunday service. If we look at the early church, we see them meeting daily. Perhaps the lack of technology in Biblical times was a good thing as too often we use the convenience of messages and chats and phone calls skipping making efforts to be of practical help to someone as meeting calls for sacrifice of time, travel and to meet a tangible need.
- Are we considering how we may spur one another on toward LOVE and GOOD DEEDS (Hebrews 10:24)? For us to be able to do this, are we doing this? Love in action, love for another as Christ loved us?
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,
and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. – Galatians 6:10
We are a team not only as a couple but as a Body of Christ. Our head is Christ – not a human figure – and we are lead by the Holy Spirit into the will of the Father when we surrender our hearts to Him. We bring our various roles to the table to pool together as a team to seek FIRST the Kingdom of God – not secondly but FIRST.
- Where do your priorities lie? What do you seek FIRST?