Thursday, October 6, 2016

Christians Love One Another, Part 2

Chuckle: "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit... Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."
Quote: “If you would be loved, love and be lovable.” --Benjamin Franklin
"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). Let's take a fresh look at this new command given by Jesus.
First: The Command is easily understood. We are to love fellow believers. "This is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another" (I John 3:11 NIV). A born again person should love other believers. "We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love our brothers" (I John 3:14 NIV).
The early Christians held love-feasts. They ate together, prayed together, shared with each other, and showed a deep love for each other. They even sold possessions to help other believers in need. They enjoyed a fellowship unlike any other. A loving fellowship is more than a cup of coffee and a doughnut. Real Biblical fellowship is a deep caring/sharing relationship with one another. It's a oneness -- coming together with a common purpose. Pagan history says "Behold how the Christians love one another." A church, a fellowship of believers, ought to be a refuge where every person is unconditionally loved and accepted -- with no exceptions.
This was the reaction of the unbelieving Greek writer, Lucian (A.D. 120-200) upon observing the warm fellowship of Christians: "It is incredible to see the fervor with which the people of that religion help each other in their wants. They spare nothing. Their first legislator (Jesus) has put it into their heads that they are brethren."
Second, We are to love even our enemies: Jesus said, " If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you: Even sinners love those who 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). "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45 NIV).
By faith in Christ, you are a child of God. If you have Christ, show that relationship by loving as Jesus loved -- your brothers and sisters and even your enemies. Even as He suffered on the cross, Jesus' love for his enemies came through as he said, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34 NIV).
What is your reaction when someone hurts you, criticizes you, or is out to get you? Do you try to get them back? Do you seek revenge? Do you try to get even? We are to love and pray for those who mistreat us. Wow! What a challenge from our human perspective. This is only possible with the Spirit of Christ living in you and giving you strength. We should pray for them and ask God for the strength to love and forgive them.
 Love, Jerry & Dotse


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