When I was helping to clear out my Father’s house a few weeks ago, I came across various pieces of paper with quotations and cuttings from various magazines or newspapers, which my parents had kept. This one made me smile and nod my head, as I recognised the sentiment:
To dwell above with saints we love,
That will be grace and glory.
But to live below with saints we know;
Now, that's another story!
I smiled because I know that although we recognise that Heaven will be a place where we will be in perfect fellowship with other believers – life on earth is somewhat different and some of our brothers and sisters (and if we are honest, ourselves) are not yet fully made perfect and can tax our patience and ability to love unconditionally.
When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God. But even if we don’t feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we feel at ease in the presence of God, we will have the courage to come near him. He will give us whatever we ask, because we obey him and do what pleases him. God wants us to have faith in his Son Jesus Christ and to love each other. This is also what Jesus taught us to do. If we obey God’s commandments, we will stay one in our hearts with him, and he will stay one with us. The Spirit that he has given us is proof that we are one with him. 1 John 3: 19-24 [CEV]
Fellowship and unity with our brothers and sisters are important aspects of growth. Our love for others is a measure of our love for God. If there is a “blocked line” in our communication with God, then it is likely it will show up in our unease in relationship with others.
Action:Is there a problem in your relationship with one of your brothers or sisters? Go and be reconciled with them, that way makes for peace and unity.
Lord, reveal to me what I can do to have closer fellowship with my brothers and sisters. Forgive me for my sinful attitudes and restore me to peace with you. Amen
m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald