{1 Corinthians 13:1; NLT}
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal.

We live in a broken world.

That fact is not hard to see. The high profile murder cases, the heroin epidemic, and to the rise of obesity in the United States shows us that people are hurt, lonely, scared, and hopeless. The addictions and self-destructive actions people have often develop from trying to cope with life.

People who are broken do not need lectures on the evil of sin because they are experiencing its consequences. They do not need facts about the reliability of the Bible because those facts don’t speak to their deepest needs.

What they need is love, compassion, and understanding. In other words, they need to have hope and encouragement. As Christians we believe that hope only comes through Jesus. This means, if they are going to have hope they need to experience Jesus in a real and personal way. The only way a broken world will experience Jesus is through the Church loving and encouraging people.

Remember what Jesus told his disciples the night before he was crucified?

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciple” (John 13:34-35; NLT).

Jesus taught that our love for each other will make it possible for others to know that we belong to him. Reaching out to the world begins by loving and serving each other.

We, the body of Christ, need to learn to love each other and care for one another so other people can see that the love they crave actually exists. Too many people have been turned off to the Gospel of Jesus Christ because the church families they know are not loving.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay (1 Peter 4:7-9; NLT).

Peter wrote of the importance of love. The power of loveĀ is that it helps people look past the Church’s mistakes, bad singing, and poor preaching. Being a loving Church allows people to see the Gospel message fleshed out and this helps people see the difference Jesus can make a difference in their lives.

The Bible makes it clear that Christians are the body of Christ. This means it is our responsibility to live in such a way so that the world can see the love of Jesus.

When we insist on fighting with each other and having power struggles that result in dividing the church we show a hurting and lonely world that Jesus makes no difference in their lives.

To truly have influence in this world begins by loving people. By loving people we demonstrate God’s character, we become lights in a dark world, and meet people where they are. I believe that our love will show the world that there is hope and that there is a different way to live, because they are not only hearing the Gospel, but they are also seeing the Gospel. Our lives of love will act as evidence that the message of hope that we have is true.

Questions to consider:

  • How have seen the brokenness of the world?
  • Why is love essential to the message of the Gospel?
  • What is one thing you can do to love someone today?
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