I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be a part of a wonderful living church. My brothers and sisters in Christ are there for me through everything I go through, just as I strive to be there for them through their struggles. Because God is in us, when we come together the Spirit is able to minister to each of us in multilayered ways. He does His work from within us as well as through our fellow believers. Iron sharpens Iron. He uses our brothers and sisters to encourage, exhort, teach, comfort, speak, and otherwise love in all the ways that Jesus loves.
Believer, if you are not part of a local church, you are missing out on a great deal of what it means to follow Jesus. You are missing out on chances to mature, glorify, serve, comfort, and love and be loved.
In John’s second epistle John addressed his letter to the elect lady and her children. Many people believe he was writing to a church. I believe this is probably the case, perhaps a woman who hosted a church in her home and the many spiritual children born from God’s love exercised through it, or perhaps some of her physical children who also were believers.
He begins the letter with the address and an encouragement.
“The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love.”
John loved this lady and her children in truth. That is He loves her genuinely through the truth of Christ. Not just as a spoken token of affection, but concretely. And John added, not only he loved her that way, but also all of those who know the truth, the actuality of Jesus Christ, God, our Father, and His awesome Holy Spirit.
Why and how could he claim that not only he loved her in just a deep way but also speak for the rest of the believers? Because He knew the same Spirit that abided in him, also resided in the other believers. Because the truth, that same truth I just described, abides in us and will be with us forever. That is God! God abides in us because His truth abides in us. We believe what He says about Himself, because He made us able to understand and believe. Because He is in us, we can and do love all the brothers and sisters in Christ. We recognize each other through the Spirit and we love one another. We love one another not through spoken tokens of affection but in truth, in reality.
Solid love is demonstrated through grace, mercy and peace. God gave them to us in love and we share them with one another through Him.
Grace is receiving something good we do not deserve. Grace is forgiveness and acceptance regardless of doing a single thing to warrant it. If we have received grace, we ought to be graceful toward each other. What right do we have to expect someone to merit our love when we did nothing and could do nothing to earn God’s love?
Not receiving something bad that we do deserve is mercy. God doesn’t condemn us, even though we deserve it. How can we blame and punish one another when God doesn’t condemn us?
Peace is a relationship of unity and harmony, joined together as one. We are at peace with God, through Christ. We are one with Him and we are supposed to be that united with one another. We are one body, one Spirit with one God.
I urge you today, if you do not have brothers and sisters in Christ to share your life with to find a local church and join it. Live fully the life God means for you to live. I exhort you, if you are a member of a local body to love your brothers and sisters in truth, fully, actually and actively. You can’t walk as Jesus walked if you walk alone. Jesus didn’t. God Himself exemplifies this is His Trinity. He is Father, Son, and Spirit.
 Proverbs 27:17
 Isaiah 65:16, John 14:16, John 16:13