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How is divisiveness affecting your church?

Sheryl Boldt Guest Columnist

Do you experience God's glory, power and love when your church worships together?

Jesus said, "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him" (John 14:21 ESV). The Amplified Bible says, "I will make Myself real to him." Wow!

Isn't this what we want – for Jesus to make Himself real to us? But how badly do we want it? Enough to do anything His Word says? What about the verses that address loving those who offend us? Are we willing to forgive "seventy times seven?" (Matthew18:22 AMP) Or would we rather hold onto grudges and forfeit a manifestation of God's presence?

The world can see how well we're following Jesus by the way we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ. John 13:35 (ESV) says, "By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another." (Does this convict you as it does me?)

Can others tell for certain we are His? Or do we leave them doubting?

What would happen if we, each in our own churches, loved one another so magnificently that those observing took notice? Simply put, what would happen if we actually behaved in a Christ-like way toward one another instead of just talking about it? (Thankfully, God puts His love in our hearts so we can love others – even those who are difficult).

We could start by asking God to search our hearts to show us where we've failed. Then, we can humbly ask those we've offended to forgive us. Realizing how imperfect we are will help us offer grace to those who are also imperfect. We can pray for each other, even ask God how He wants to use us to meet the needs of those with whom we fellowship – including those (especially those) we've been holding grudges against.

Isn't it time we stop letting our divisiveness and petty disagreements eat away at the sweetness we once experienced as a body? Wouldn't we rather see how glorious our weekly fellowship could be if we loved each other as Christ loves us?

The choice is ours. Which direction and which outcome will we choose this week?

Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.

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