The Tree of Life
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.”
—1 John 5:1
If we are going to think of ourselves as true children of God who have faith in Jesus Christ, we can imagine ourselves in this family tree—with this direct line connecting us to God. But as soon as we make that connection, all of a sudden, we have to not only draw the vertical line but we have to draw all the horizontal lines as well. Not only do we have a Father in Heaven, but we have brothers and sisters all over the world as well. That is where we get the obedience test. You have been grafted in, been adopted into this family of God. The moment you do that, you will see all of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of which are extremely needy. Some of which are hard to love. Some of which you don’t even like very much. I’m talking about the type of relationships that require extra grace! I heard one little girl say, “I like them. I love them. Not in a people way, but in a God way.” I think some of us would feel that way about our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are not necessarily the people we would want to hang out with all of the time, but we love them in a God way. His love isn’t like ours. It’s unconditional, unconventional, and undeserved. We are told if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. Circle that little word ought in your mind. Ought kind of sounds like a duty. Like it’s time to buck up and love your brother and sister because it’s the right thing to do. But God isn’t telling us to love them just because it’s right, but because He loves them. Period. That’s it. If God so loves the world, so should we. We are called to follow hard after Jesus and do what He did. And what exactly did He do? He laid down His life for every single person on this planet, so that they may choose to follow Him and become a child of God. And shouldn’t we love someone Jesus considered worthy to die for? They weren’t qualified for this kind of love, just like you and I weren’t. Yet, He gave it all for them. For you. For us. That is what we’re called to do. And we don’t just stop at love. As siblings in Christ, we get to lift one another up. To support, encourage, love, and elevate each other. The narrow road doesn’t have room for competition. We were specifically made with unique gifts and abilities to complement each other. Together, we are a complete body—ready for battle, ready to shake the world for Jesus. Lift your brother or sister up today. Throw love around like confetti and watch how those around you begin to shine.