I Peter 1:22 Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your hearts.
I wonder what would be different in our churches if we were to take today's verse to heart. Just how intensely do we really love each other? Are we as concerned and involved in each other's lives as we ought to be? What do we do to show our love? Love without action is only a word. Love compels us to take an invested interest in people. It compels us to respond to needs when we learn of them. It compels us to withhold judgment on others unless it is clearly directed by Scripture to do so. It compels us to see the good in others and dwell on it instead of the weaknesses people have. Love is not a convenience, it is the fruit of a heart that is right with God.
If we truly love others, we will befriend them and stand by their side as they endeavor to grow in faith. We will accept others without strings attached. We will work together for the cause of Christ and not let our own agendas get in the way. This is true within our individual churches, and it is true in the body of Christ as a whole.
We can't make people love each other intensely from the depth of their hearts. Most people don't and won't get it. But, what about you? Just because others don't love as they should, it doesn't excuse us. The mandate to love is clear in the Scriptures. We can make a huge difference for Christ by setting a godly example of loving for others to follow. To do anything less, is to live in disobedience to God.
Our capacity to love is directly related to our relationship with Christ. To not live a life of love is to not live in a proper relationship with Christ.