John 13:34,35 (ESV), “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”
Life can be tough… We were not meant to face it alone, God designed it that way. The antidote to trauma is relationship!
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1 Peter 4:7-11 (NIV), “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers (Greek: TO PREVENT) over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Like I said before, we were not meant to face it alone… God designed it that way! Jesus and His followers taught that good human relationships were one of the primary ways that God changes our lives and heals us.
THE CHURCH IS GOD’S AGENT FOR SOLVING HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS!
The Church is God’s idea, not some plan or program invented by humans. In fact, it is the only institution God promised to sustain forever! It is The Church (The Bride of Christ) through which Jesus moves in the earth.
Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV), “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Ephesians 1:17-23 (Message), “But I do more than thank. I ask ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.”
It is through the Church that Jesus moves in the earth, He calls the Church “His bride.”
Rev 21:9 (KJV), “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the BRIDE, The Lamb’s Wife.”
Who is Jesus (The Lamb) married to? You? NO! He is married to The Church!
Paul reveals this mystery in:
Ephesians 5:25-32 (NIV), “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
Obviously when this passage speaks of the church, it’s talking about more than any one congregation. It’s referring to the Universal Church. This is the living, breathing, spiritual family we join and that we’re joined to – the moment we’re saved.
How much does Christ love His Church? According to the passage, He loves us so much that He gave Himself up for us. He laid down His very life to redeem us.
And now He is at work to cleanse and prepare us for eternity!