Recently, from the 10th to the 20th May, Christians from all around the world joined in prayer in a movement called “Thy Kingdom Come”. This is one of the most beautiful things about the gospel – it is an invitation into a worldwide family of God. As a Christian, you’re part of a much bigger picture, part of what God is doing in the lives of millions of other Christians and through churches everywhere.
When Jesus was asked by the teachers of the law which commandment was the most important, He answered like this:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
It also says in 1 John 4:20, that anyone who claims to love God but hates his brother, “is a liar”. Those are strong words, and it obviously doesn’t mean Christians never dislike or fall out with people around them. Like any normal family, there are problems to be worked out, but as part of the family of God, Christians have committed to loving each other even when it’s tough.
Jesus has given us the ultimate example; even while He was on the cross, He cried out “Father, forgive them, for they know what they do”. He told us to love our enemies and in John 17, He prays for unity among Christians, so that the world will see the love of God.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
And so the gospel isn’t just a personal ticket into heaven but an invitation into a family. It’s a call to follow Jesus, and after we start walking with Him we look around and see others who are walking the path too. God as Father adopts us into His family and gives us His Spirit to help us live lives of worship, lives that say back to God “thank you” by the way we love one another.