Have you ever watched a behind-the-scenes documentary about how a movie was made? The book of Acts is kind of a “behind-the-scenes” look on how the church was formed. It is the historical retelling of the origins of the church. Even in the early church, fellow believers experienced challenges in their relationships with each other.
These pioneers of our faith struggled through the early growing pains of the dynamics of a community of believers and their functions as a body. They came to realize God’s will and chose to be part of this movement to tell others about Him. They desired to embody the gospel, and share this message with everyone around them. They truly came to see, as they experienced it, the transformative power of God’s love and they wanted to live their life as Jesus lived.
How do we know how Jesus lived? How do we know God’s will for our lives together? We have to study Scripture. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). At Today in the Word we want to continually point you to God’s Word and what He has to say to you.
As part of the church, we should also desire to follow the second commandment together that Jesus gave us: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). We can only know how to love our neighbors—each other—by how Jesus modeled it for us in Scripture. In John 13:34–35, Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
When we love one another as Christ loves us, we reflect Him. But loving one another in that manner can be difficult. No one can love with Christ’s perfect love, but it is His example of how to love that should be our goal. It is a constant striving to reflect His example of unconditional, sacrificial love for others. It is how we should live each day of our lives for God.
And we can only live our lives for God because of what Jesus did on the cross. God displayed His grace and mercy to us through His Son’s death and resurrection. In like manner, we—the church—need to offer grace and mercy to each other. When we do that today, we reflect Him to others and the redemptive power of His message.
I encourage you to study this month’s issue and find ways you can make the greatest commandment, the second greatest commandment, and the new commandment a daily part of your life. I’m certainly not perfect, and I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m so glad that I can look in God’s Word to continue to learn how to love Him and love others.