“Let Brotherly Love Continue”


By Tiia Monto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

The enormity of his love is clear. We were sinners – in rebellion against him – and he sent Jesus for our benefit. The entire blessing of Jesus rests upon mankind. There was no benefit to God for saving us other than his own internal love. From before the creation, God’s love was pouring forth (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20).

We seek to be like God (Ephesians 5:1), therefore, we must learn to love as God loves. That sounds so easy but we know that loving someone can be extraordinarily challenging., especially when that person shows no love themselves. Nevertheless, we must still love.

But what does it mean to love? Is it a warm mushy feeling? Is it words? Or is Biblical love something different?

Love is:

A Choice – Just as God chose to love us, we chose to love others. True love may involve emotions and feelings but it is primarily a choice. Feelings change. Appearances change. Interests change. Love is not so fickle.

Without Profit – As we saw above, to love someone is to do so without expectation of repayment. Love is not a business proposition that is reduced to writing. It is a choice we undertake without prospect of repayment.

Without Evil – Love means desiring the best for the other person. Therefore, we do not desire to harm or to draw another into unrighteousness. Our goal is to bring only good into their lives. To seek evil is to destroy the entire foundation of love.

Forgiving – Is there a better example of forgiveness than Jesus? Like him we must forgive too. Implicit is the fact that people often fail us. Still, we love like Jesus, even “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).

Enduring – Enduring is synonymous with longsuffering. Sometimes the very best people try our nerves and even provoke us to anger. We still love them. We love them because we know that our lives are imperfect. Still, we made a choice to love them and we do not discard that commitment. It may be that we cannot be around them, but we still forgive and hope for the best.

Much of the above arises from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and all of it is anchored in the nature of God. May I suggest that we all re-evaluate our relationships and conform them to God’s plan of love. Only goodness will follow. Yes, people will still fail you but with a holy perspective those failings will have less impact. Love like God!

 

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at preachersstudyblog.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

#brotherlylove #love

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