Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.--Ephesians 4:15-16 (ESV translation)
Jesus commanded his followers to love one another. (John 13:34) But not only is Christian love a duty, it is also like a steroid for Christ's body. The body (the church) "builds itself up in love." When I wonder why our churches seem stagnant, I have to answer there is not enough love. You really want to see church growth? Inject some love.
How do we apply this? Here's one way the early church did it: "There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need."--Acts 4:34-35 (ESV) Right now, American Christians have an excellent opportunity to love one another now by providing financial aid. How will we respond? I'm praying we take the steroid.