Monday, November 20, 2023
One of my mentors taught several of us this convicting little poem to remind us of the reality and challenges of loving each other as brothers and sisters in our congregations:
To dwell above with saints we love,
Ah, that will be glory!
But to dwell below with saints we know,
Ooh, that's another story.
You see, the problem with our churches is that they are full of people who are just as flawed as the person we see in the mirror every morning. In our self-centered world today, people leave to find a different group if they have problems with someone in the congregation. Others attempt to boss and bully others into getting their way "at church." Many of us find it easier to ignore Jesus' commands than to forgive and reconcile.  All too frequently, we disregard Jesus' prayer for our unity, forgetting that the world won't know that the Father sent Jesus unless we are unified as His people.  Others set aside Paul's forceful reminder that each person who is difficult in our congregation is still someone for whom Christ died. 
Today's relationship verses are very straightforward. Each gathering of believers is the Temple of God — not the building, but the people. God lives in us as a group through the Holy Spirit. We should display the Holy Spirit's work in us through our love for each other.  Anyone who is at work bringing disunity, disharmony, or destruction faces the intense displeasure of God:
God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you [all together]  are that temple. 
God demands that we love each other and dwell in unity. These are not options for us. We are not the perfected person we will be one day in glory. Until then, we must write our "to dwell below..." story with love, patience, forgiveness, and humility.
Almighty God, we use the two petitions of Paul for believers in Rome to be our prayer for each other and Your people wherever they gather together:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ... The God of peace be with you all. Amen. *
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Archived Facebook Comments