But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
I want to think big picture with you this week. We’ve been talking over the past weeks about our mission to go and to share the Gospel to our neighbors, friends, families, and work associates. This going and sharing is very much a key element in proclaiming God’s wonderful deeds to the world.
There is yet another element that is a part of living out the Gospel before those who are watching. Jesus told us that we were going to need to verify before the world that what He said and did was true.
- “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” – John 13: 34-35
- “I do not pray for these alone but also for those who believe and trust in Me through their message, that they all may be one just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be One in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” – John 17:20-21
This is hard. It is an impossible thing for us to do. But God has made us all Family in Him, Jesus is raised into heaven, acting as our High Priest and praying for us, the Holy Spirit lives in us and sanctifies us. We cannot do the impossible, but God can.
What does loving one another well look like? It is forgiving, it is being humble, it is serving, it is encouraging, it is being patient and kind and thoughtful, it rejoices in truth. It is talking to one another and clearing misunderstandings, and asking God for his help to keep relationships pure and clean before Him. It is believing the best about one another.
It is important. The Church, in living out the love that Jesus made possible in His death and resurrection, is the only way that the world can see Jesus.