Love and Encourage the Brethren!
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, April 4, 2021
God be thanked, today we are back to our full public worship and Bible Study schedule. It’s been a rough year, but we have survived. We continue to pray for relief from the restrictions imposed upon us by the virus and those in authority. How wonderful it is going to be to breathe freely, shake hands, and fellowship and hug our brethren once again.
How much more we have grown to appreciate our brethren during this long stretch. We realize we need each other in more ways than we might have thought before being thrown into the COVID era.
Regardless of the personal disagreements, we might have had on a variety of issues throughout this past year, we must agree with Abraham’s words to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me...for we are brethren” (Genesis 13:8).
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:1–4).
Our treatment of one another, and the love we demonstrate as Christian in the family of God, is a key component to how people think about us and the church. Jesus told his disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35).
Because of the isolation and fears of this past year, there are people in our neighborhoods and workplaces who are now looking for answers to spiritual questions they didn’t have before. They need connections and fellowship just as all of us do.
When they watch us and our church family, they need to see true Christianity displayed. Paul begged his brethren, “...to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3).
We need to be that beacon of light that points people to the Savior and source of that light. “Let your light so shine be-fore men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Our good works involve many things, among which are Bible study and worship. Since we are now back to a full schedule, let’s be a good example to all those around us, Christian or otherwise, in doing our best to attend all the services we can. When the world opens up once again, let’s be ready to show folks the way to the knowledge of God’s word and a love for our worship of Him (Psalm 119:47, 48; John 4:23, 24).
Peter admonishes every Christian to “...sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).