"Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow COLD" (Matthew 24:12). A major area of spiritual warfare that has come against the Church is the sphere of church relationships.
There is no such thing as love without COMMITMENT. The measure of one's love is found in the depth of his or her commitment to others.
When someone withdraws his commitment to a relationship, he is withdrawing his love. It is not one's commitment that grows cold; it is their love. It may not seem like they have become COLD—they may still attend church, sing and look "Christian"—but inside they have become hard and separated from others. They have withdrawn from love. Because their commitment is shallow, they will be easily offended.
Jesus said, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come" (Matthew 18:7).
To preserve the quality of love in your heart, you must forgive those who have caused you to stumble.
Every time you refuse to forgive or fail to overlook a weakness in another, your heart not only hardens toward them, it hardens toward God. You cannot form a negative opinion of someone (even though you think they may deserve it!) and allow that opinion to crystallize into an attitude; for every time you do, an aspect of your heart will cool toward God. You may still think you are open to God, but the Scriptures are clear:
"The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20).
You may not like what someone has done, but you do not have an option to stop loving them. Love is your only choice.
We each need people who love us, who are COMMITTED to us in spite of our imperfections. Many people will stumble over little faults and human weaknesses. These minor things are quickly pumped up by the enemy into great big problems. Oh, how frail are the excuses people use to justify withdrawing from others. In reality, these problems, often with a church or pastor, are a smokescreen which masks the person's lack of love.
We need to overcome our hang-ups about commitment, for no one will attain the fullness of God's purposes on earth without being COMMITTED to imperfect people along the way.
To those whose attitude is, "I am content with just Jesus and me," I say it is wonderful you found Jesus. But you cannot truly have Jesus and simultaneously not do what He says. The outgrowth of love and faith in Christ is love and faith like Christ's, which means we are committed, even as He is, to His people.
The Kingdom of God is most perfectly revealed in our relationships with one another. We are being perfected into a unit (see John 17). To have the Kingdom, we must be committed to one another as individuals and as churches. If Christ accepts us while we are still imperfect, we must also accept one another.
The people who possess the Kingdom of God in its reality are people who overcome the obstacles of each other's faults. They DISCIPLE others into becloming what God has called them to be: the living Body of Jesus Christ. The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ; it includes a commitment to other Christians. The failure of ministries to equip the saints (train believers to DISCIPLE other believers) so that every individual part of the Body of Christ is functioning is a primary reason for the overall ineffectiveness of the church.
"You should teach people who you can trust the things you and many other have heard me say. Then they will be able to teach others." - 2 Timothy 2:2
"We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave His life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers." - 1John 3:16
One of the unique things about the Church of the New Covenant is that God has authorized and commanded EVERY BELIEVER to do the work of the MINISTRY! God wants an entire army of workers out doing the vital work of DISCIPLESHIP of the saints and building up His Body, the Church.