"...love, which is the perfect bond of unity" Colossians 3:14b (NASB).
Unity - it reminds me of people who come together to reach victory. Whether it be a sports team, an army, or a work group, usually a group unified at some point has to go through something - a competition, a battle, or at least some amount of time of concentrated effort. The blood, sweat and tears that can happen in the thick of a hardship can appear unattractive by onlookers. Not every united group may win the way they first planned. Although, they represent a victory to me when they hold a unity of purpose and a love for something outside of themselves.
The verse above describes how love unites people perfectly. God is love, and so love is meant to define us as individuals following Him. Also, it's meant to define us as a group of believers in Christ.
As believers, we have accepted God's love and His love is working in us, but we can also have this special bond in that we live it out together, as one body. The church definitely has people who are different - unique interests, different personalities and varied spiritual gifts. Yet, a believer's common bond with other believers is that we know, believe and trust in God's grace. We know this walk with Him has joy as well as suffering, and we know that God has told us to take heart, since He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Christ has shown us how to walk on earth in love, and the Holy Spirit has the power to help us love today. We have seen God's grace work in our own lives and draw us to Him. We are a family of people who are made to unite under Him and live out and display His love. Let's unite in this love of God, so others may come to see more of who He is and how He brings light and life.
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35, NASB).
Study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from the Vancouver Sun of the Canadian Women's Basketball Team at the London 2012 Olympics (www.vancouversun.com).