Learn to Love God's Family
“I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18, NLT)
Only the church will last forever.
There are many things we wish would last forever. But the Bible tells us nothing else is going to last. No business is going to last forever. No government is going to last forever. No nation is going to last forever. Only the church is going to last forever.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (NLT). The church is the most magnificent idea God or any human being ever thought up.
The entire universe was created for God’s family. What’s God’s family called? The church.
The church is not a building. The church is the family of God. God wanted a family, so he decided to create the entire universe—just so he could create Earth, just so he could create human beings, just so we could have the free choice to choose or reject him. He knew that some of us would choose to love him back, and he’s going to take those of us who do to heaven to be part of his family forever.
What does this mean for you if you are already in God’s family? It means that since we’re all going to live together forever, we better learn to get along. While you’re here on Earth, you must love the family of God.
That’s right. It’s not enough just to love God. You must love the church. You want to know how much God loves the church? He died for it. Anybody who says, “I love Jesus, but I don’t need the church” doesn’t get it. That person is an immature believer. A lot of people use the church but don’t love it.
Do you love the church? Or do you just use the church?
Christ died for the church. He wants us to learn to love and lean on every believer in the body of Christ, because we need each other. When we love and serve the church and work together to fulfill God’s mission in the world, we get a taste of heaven and a deeper understanding of God’s love.
Talk It Over
What are some ways people use the church instead of loving the church?
Why do you think God created us to need each other?
What are some practical steps you can take to show love to the church?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.