Friday, October 7, 2016

Christians Love One Another, Part 3

Chuckle: (Church bulletin blooper) "Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow."
Quote: “Christ-like love is a gift of the Spirit.” --Robert J. Whetten
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35 NIV).
This "New Command," from Jesus, is easy to understand but, from our human perspective, difficult to live out. Jesus says we are to follow His example in loving one another. Here's another example from God's Word on how we should love one another. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV).
These commands call for hands-on love. When we see people's needs, we should do something about them -- get our hands dirty -- not send someone else, but meet them ourselves because we love each person as Jesus loves you and me -- unconditionally. Those with the greatest needs wanted to be around Jesus because they knew He loved them. He showed a different kind of love. He loved them as they were. Every Christian needs to love like this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our world's greatest need is for people to love one another unconditionally. It is a power that can change a life, a family, a church, a community, a county, a state, a nation, and a world. We are even to love those who don't deserve love. Jesus said, "If you love those that love you, what reward will you get. Even sinners love those that love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that" (Luke 6:32-33 NIV). God reached down through Jesus Christ and forgave, cleansed, and saved an undeserving me! You see, we are to be different and love the undeserving.
If our love is to be like Jesus' love, it is unending and constant -- not loving today and but not loving tomorrow. "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering" (Hebrews 13:1-2 NIV).
"Stephen Olford was a young boy in Africa with his missionary parents. His father died there. They were on a long and arduous voyage home to England. One of the sailors had a wound which became terrible infected and gave off an offensive order. The other sailors threw him out of their quarters. He had to stay up on deck far from any other sailors. Stephen's Mom began to go to him to give him food and clean his wound. At first, he cursed her, but when they got to shore, he hobbled off the boat on his own. God changed his life because a Godly woman loved him as Jesus loves."
Only Christ can empower us to love like that. The Bible says a fruit of the Holy Spirit's presence and filling in our lives is love. Galatians 5:22 NIV, "The fruit of the Spirit is love." We can never love like Jesus apart from the Holy Spirit who lives in us and gives us strength.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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