Monday, October 1, 2018

Love One Another

& Jesus Christ

Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS

“This is My commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

What more can be said about “LOVE.” It would seem that this topic would be exhausted by now, but it isn’t. As the song says, “If we with ink the ocean fill and were the sky of parchment made, and every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry; nor would the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky” (The Love of God). God’s love for us is so immense because He is so immense. His love fills the universe. “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool...” (Isa.66:1). How can He truly care for me or you, little pusillanimous mankind?

John 3:16, says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Almost every Sunday School child can quote this familiar verse. I’m so glad I learned it when I was a child. It tells us how much God, the Father loves us - “He gave His only begotten Son.” This is the greatest gift ever given. This is a living gift that goes on and on, never wearing out. It reaches down through the centuries from that old rugged cross on the hill to the lowest sinner even in our day. What a gift! What a love! Although mankind has often rejected Him, yet He still loves them.

Jesus gave a new commandment, not like the old commandments of the law. We cannot fulfill this new commandment in our own strength or determination, but only by having Christ in our hearts. When we were saved, Christ’s life entered ours, and as we yield to God, that life manifests characteristics that are like the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the greatest attributes is “love.” Jesus loved so much that He willingly went to the cross for us. And now, He asks that we love others in the same way. If we say that we love others, but we never manifest it, then, it is doubtful that we really love as Christ wants from our lives.

I Corinthians 13 gives us examples of what “love” does. In short, love never does anything that harms or hurts another individual. Love never by it’s own actions deliberately stumbles another person. Love always thinks through a situation, “Will this thing I am doing edify another or tear down another’s faith.” My actions may not be to deliberately hurt someone, but if I knowingly do something that will hurt someone else, then I have failed to really love as God wants from me.

Think about this. An example is a weak brother or sister, who may not see the Word of God as deeply as we do.” Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no meat while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend” I Cor. 8:13. Can you imagine doing that? What love this act shows. It would be hard to give up meat entirely for the sake of another’s conscience, but that act is a real show of love. In speaking of the “meat issue” Paul said in I Cor.8:9, “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.” Would we be willing to do this in order to not be offensive? Apostle Paul was a great example to all believers. Let us think about this and see what God can do through us in winning someone to faith in Christ, and to a walk with the Lord.

The most important work of Love in our hearts and lives is to love Jesus supremely - above all else. When this is true in a believer’s life, love is distributed to the members of our families and to all the believers we know or come in contact with, and even the people that are not Christians.

In Revelation 2:4, we read that the Church of Ephesus had “left their first love.” After a list of achievements credited to this church group, such as “works, labor and patience, and had not fainted, and recognized those that were false” the verse four says, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against you because you have left your first love.” Some interpret this to mean, the love you had right after you were born again. Think about it! At that point in our relationship with Jesus Christ we loved Him with a very immature love. As we go on with the Lord we come to a deeper place of love with Him. The word “first” in the Greek mean “foremost, (in time, order or importance), best, or chiefest.” This is the kind of love the Lord wants reserved for Himself. Christ alone. Our relationship with Jesus should be a deep love. He should be number one in our lives and hearts, the most important person in our lives, the chiefest one. Song of Solomon 5:10 says, “My Beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.