1 John 4:9-11 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
The appeal of Jesus and the gospel is so compelling yet too often people are driven away from Christianity. The fact that Jesus followers can be less like him than they should be isn't surprising, I am sure that we have all been hurt by someone wearing the label Christian, as a group we can be "quarrelsome, hostile, and disputatious" and make people want to run away.
The power that changed the world is love yet we have lost our appreciation for the power that love has to make positive change. As Andy Stanley says we give up our leverage in culture when we focus on anything but love. If we loved like he calls us to love, people wouldn’t feel condemned by us.
Don't give up on the gospel lived out in a loving community, Jesus called us to participate in mission together, it would be wrong to turn our back on our faith and it would be equally wrong to live out our faith as a "Lone Ranger" Christians.
Galatians 6:9-10 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
As a gospel community we know that Jesus is coming back for a unified body of believers and he expects us to be working together as a body to complete the mission that he gave us. We cannot possibly go into all the world and make disciples while we are busy fighting each other. We must love as Jesus did if we are going to draw people into our community and bring about change in their life.