I fear that as followers of Jesus Christ we are often defined only by what we are against. In the media, Christians frequently are described purely by what they oppose: anti-this, anti-that. While it is important that we take a stand against evil - certainly there are some things we cannot tolerate - how much more should we be identified by what we embrace? In fact, this seems to be one of Jesus’ main critiques of the early church.
In Revelation 2, after ascending to Heaven, the Risen Jesus addressed one of His churches, commending them for opposing heresy and standing up against evil. While He affirmed their commitment to truth, He also issued this sobering rebuke: Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:4 These early believers were known for what they were against, for what they hated (see Rev. 2.6) … but not for what or whom they loved. How much more should we be identified by what we embrace?
While He was on Earth, Jesus longed for His disciples to be characterized by love. He taught that our passion for God should navigate our lives and impact every other relationship. When He was on Earth, Jesus explained that love should be our highest calling and greatest goal. On Earth, Jesus said it was all about love..... and, from Heaven, He has not altered His mandate.