PRESERVING AND PRIMING

Teresa of Ávila by François Gérard

Teresa of Ávila by François Gérard

PRESERVING AND PRIMING

Written By David Gentiles

Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
— Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
 

Donald Miller, in his book ‘Father Fiction’ said: “We have a tremendous influence on how people perceive God.” What is interesting is that Jesus began this train of thought when he commented: “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 for one another” John 13:34-35. In Matthew 5:16 we again see this sentiment: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

When we as the body of Christ show love to one another, we are strongly sharing the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost world. I also believe and have experienced that when we fail to love one another,  we damage the testimony of Jesus towards the body and our community. It has been a passion of mine in the last several years that God would move in a great way to bring unity in His church nationally, regionally, and locally. I sense that with the spirit of love and unity nurturing and growing in the body of Christ, great power can be shown through the grace of God that we offer to one another on a daily basis.

 

"When we offer such compassion and care for one another in daily provision and protection, the world stands in silence because it cannot comprehend why a fellowship can function with such joy, grace, and unity."

 
 

This biblical principle acts as a beacon, for when others see our kindness and our grace toward one another, it is altogether different than what the world has to offer. When we offend one another and then are able to offer supernatural forgiveness that does not appear in the daily expression of entertainment, politics, and athletics the world is confounded. When we offer such compassion and care for one another in daily provision and protection, the world stands in silence because it cannot comprehend why a fellowship can function with such joy, grace, and unity. The only explanation is the power of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul noted: “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11I believe with all of my heart that as we love one another through the beauty of Jesus-centered community, God will be with us in a supernatural way- A way that will not make sense before a watching world- A way that will be contagious in a body and outer community- A way that will CALL those who’ve never experienced such grace, love, and power to a new life. This is our call. This is our mark. This is our hope that Jesus would be the center and fuel for the kind of life together that brings joy to the family of God and hope to the watching world.
 
As we live this life together in Jesus name, we are PRESERVING the soil of the Family of God and PRIMING the soil of our community. They are observing and watching. Maybe not consciously all the time, but when we claim to be “of God,” it is possible and quite probable that they could be waiting to see what it might look like if they were “of God” too.