I had to be gone all day one Saturday, so I left instructions with my kids to get X,Y and Z done before I returned. Since X was the most important of the three I specifically told them to make sure it got done, even if the other things didn't. X was important and had to, had to, had to be done! I returned home to find Y done, Z partially done and no X. Apparently X was not only the most important thing, but also the hardest thing and so it was left for last and remained undone. Kids; I think they're the same all over the world!
Jesus talked to His disciples before He left them and told them some things they needed to do. Number one on the list was that they should love each other as He had loved them. This was first on the list because it was the most important. It had to be done before any of the other things would work right! He said the world would know that they were His because they loved each other. That would be their identifying mark.
But, apparently, we have decided that loving each other as He loves us is too hard. We've decided to skip ahead and do some of the other things and maybe get back to that later! Guess what?! Those other things are dependent upon that first thing. They won't work so well if the first thing is left out! Maybe that's why things are so messed up these days! We don't know how to follow instructions!
Christians of every denomination are running around like crazy doing all kinds of things "for the Kingdom", but we still fuss and fight about the simplest of differences. We don't love each other as He loves us. We don't carry that identifying mark for the world to see.The world sees a bunch of religious folks that can't even get along with each other, let alone save the lost!
Let's go back and work on that first thing so that all those other things will be effective.