Hebrews 10:24-25 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
24We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. 25We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.
Philippians 2:1-4 (New International Version)
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 John 4:11-12 (New International Version)
11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
It is tough in the world these days. There are so many bad things that are happening around us, that it is hard for others to find comfort through the storms of life. To add to this, we now live in a culture that is foreign to the Bible centered culture of yesterday. If you live in the South, this might not be so evident, but if you live or spend time anywhere else, a culture that is centered on Christ is almost non-existent. What has resulted are people seeking a better way to live life, and yet very resistant or almost confrontational to the message of Jesus Christ.
You might say this has always existed, and it has been that way in many other countries around the world, yet in the United States of our parents and grandparents, a Christian or religious culture was assumed as the norm. Not today, in every aspect of our culture and in public life anything religious and especially anything Christian is being marginalized and seen as something bad.
What has happened is that as the culture has changed, the church has been absent from the culture. Unfortunately we have focused on our "holy huddles" shutting out the lost world. We have dwelled on being judgemental about the external, rather than sharing the good news of what God can do with the internal. If this trend continues, we will end up like other parts of the world, where the love of Christ once dwelled, but now is absent from the culture. This will create a vaccum in the hearts and lives of many that need to be filled with something, and usually what replaces the love of Christ is not always good.
So what are we to do? How can we connect with a lost and dying world that is around us, in our work, our schools, our government, and our culture? The problem is that the Christian church and Christians in general have not done a good job of being a good witness for Jesus Christ. We have not done a good job of living Christlike lives and exhibiting Christlike love to the unlovable in the world around us. If we are to win over a dying world to the immense love of God found in the work on the cross of Jesus Christ, we need to be a better witness.
We need to lead lives that exhibit what Jesus would do if he were walking around today. We need to see everyone around us as God would see them, someone that is loved by Him and in need of rescue by the Savior. If we call ourselves Christians, we are the called and the redeemed because of what Jesus has done for us. If we will behave as such, seeing everyone through the eyes of Jesus, we will cause the world around us to wonder why we are as we are. When they wonder, they will ask, and when they ask, we need to be prepared to share Christ's love.