Friday, September 30, 2011

Brotherly Love

   Hebrews 13:1 says, "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters." Three important things are revealed to the reader through this scripture. First, the practice of brotherly love had been happening before and was ongoing. Second, we see the desire of the author that brotherly love should continue. Third, this verse can show us how important brotherly love is to the Christian life! If we want to follow God's command shown in this verse, we must know what brotherly love is and what it looks like (basically examples).
   What is brotherly love? It is most simply put, love for others. It is made found with kind affection, honor, deference, and preferring one another. Romans 12:10 says, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." In Romans 13:8-10, it says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." We should lay down our lives for our brethren and provide to one in need. 1 John 3:11-18 says, "For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
   What does brotherly love look like? Jonathan and David showed brotherly love in 1 Samuel 20:4 which says, "Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” Throughout the bible many great examples of brotherly love are seen but perhaps the greatest example was that of Jesus Christ. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Jesus lay down his life for you and me! Who can ever show greater love than that of Jesus Christ throughout the New Testament?
   In close, 1 Peter 1:22 says, "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart." Are you showing brotherly love to others in your life?

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