Some years ago, the New Yorker magazine presented a cartoon which shows two young theological students walking within the cloistered walls of the seminary. One of the students has a baffled expression on his countenance, and is remarking to the other: “What gets me about this place is that they want you to love people you don’t even like!”
Life would be so much simpler if we only had to love the people we liked, but Jesus is pretty plain in His instructions to us as believers. Look with me at Matthew 5: 43-45“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father.”
Over the last few weeks in our Sunday messages we have been looking at many of the “one another” phases in the Bible. We have been challenging ourselves to “encourage, accept, value and love another.” The goal is to focus on others instead of ourselves. When we do that relationships are strengthened and we find mutual strength to fight our real enemy, Satan.
Some of the largest trees in the world are the giant Redwoods of California. Some of them are over 300 feet high. You would think that such massive trees would have very deep roots, but that is not so. Actually, redwoods have a very shallow root system designed to capture all the surface moisture possible. Their roots spread out in all directions, and as a result, all the roots of all the trees in a redwood grove are intertwined. They are locked together so that when the wind blows or a storm strikes, all the trees support and sustain another. This is why you almost never see a redwood standing alone. They need one another to survive.
What a perfect analogy for the body of Christ. We need “one another” in order to survive. So quit trying to go it alone. Share your needs with your brothers and sisters in Christ and ask for their support and prayer. Or maybe you can help hold steady someone who is currently in the midst of a storm. As Rick Warren says, “We are better together.” Look for an opportunity this week to go the extra mile in ministering to “one another.” I CHALLENGE YOU!
Tuesday Morning on the Run
Inspirational thoughts from Pastor Barry Lawson