Christ urged Christians to love each other. He even called it his ‘new command’ (John 13:34-35).
That is a lesson that John taught very carefully in the Book of 1 John. We cannot love God but hate our brother (1 John 4:20-21). Christians are the children of God (John 1:12-13); therefore, they are all brothers and sisters in the family of God (Mark 3:31-35). So, Christians must love each other with the love that comes from God, their Father in heaven (1 John 4:7-11).
Many people today only know love as a kind of emotion that attracts people to each other. That is not the kind of love that the Bible is referring to. Rather, true love shows itself in a genuine desire that good things will happen in other people’s lives. We do not need to like another person in order to desire that good things will happen for him.
Of course, such a desire achieves nothing unless we act because of it. That is when we show the kind of love in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Love causes us to act, not for our own benefit, but to help other people (Luke 10:25-37).
When we show that kind of love, it sometimes causes us to act in an extraordinary manner. Normally people desire honour for themselves; they want other people to respect them (Luke 14:7). However, the person who shows true love does not need anyone to give him honour. Instead, he cares much more that other people should receive honour. He does not believe that only famous and important people deserve honour. A good person whom nobody respects deserves honour too - and the person who truly loves would gladly suffer shame in order to give honour to that person.
Next part: An eager desire to serve God (Romans 12:11)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.