Tag: love one another

Love one another!

Scripture reading for April 22nd:  John 13

Key scriptures for over-comers:  John 13:34-35  “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.”  

Jesus had washed the feet of His disciples, demonstrating His love and servant’s heart for them.  He also predicted that one of those He washed would betray Him and that Peter would deny Him three times!  In the midst of this last meal, Jesus gave His disciples a new command:  “Love one another!”  This command was to be a sign to all men that His followers belonged to Jesus!  Love does what is best for another.  Love forgives.   Love covers sins.  Love never fails!  The Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit would release a river of God’s love to flow from them! (Romans 5:5)

Observations for over-comers:  Loving one another remains the greatest command of Jesus for those who will over-come the world, flesh, and the devil!  A river of His love flows in our hearts by the Holy Spirit!  “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.  Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail.  Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.  Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”  (Ezekiel 47:12)

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No fear in love!

Scripture reading for November 24th:  1st John 4

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed His love among us:  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1st John 4:7-10)

The call to love is constant throughout John’s letter to the church.  Love is a primary fruit of the Spirit of Christ.  God, Himself, is love!  Love is the choice of will and character to always do what is best for another, even if it costs everything!  God demonstrated this for us by sending His only Son into the world to give His life for us, sinners without love for God or others.  (Romans 5:8)  The source of all true love is God.  We can now love because He loved us!

Scripture states that all people have ‘eternity in our hearts’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  We have a fear of death because of sin in our life.  (Hebrews 2:14-15)  We know that the judgment is coming and that we cannot stand before a holy God.  But God wants us to have confidence on the judgment day because of relationship with Him.   “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  (1st John 4:16-18)

 

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Love one another!

Scripture reading for November 23rd:  1st John 3

“See how great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  . . .Dear friend, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not been made known.  But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  (1st John 3:1-3)

John encouraged the Church with a revelation of their identity–children of God!  What great love that believers have had ‘lavished’ on them:  Adopted into God the Father’s family and given an inheritance in His eternal kingdom!   We don’t yet fully comprehend all that this means.  The full revelation will come when Jesus Christ appears again and we will be instantly changed to have glorious bodies like His body!  (1st Corinthians 15:51-54)  The hope of His appearing should result in an eager desire in each believer to be pure and holy when He comes.  “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”   (Hebrews 12:14)

Practical holiness involves love.  “This is the message you heard from the beginning:  We should love one another.  . . . .We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.  Anyone who does not love remains in death.”  (1st John 3:11,14)  Love of our brothers is not an option in the kingdom of God and Christ.  We are deceiving ourselves if we say we love God and hate our brothers.  Jesus laid His life down for His brothers and we must do likewise.  We can test ourself:  Do I love my brother (or sister?)  Our identity leads to this response to Christ’s love: “Love one another!”

 

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Love fulfills the law!

Scripture reading for July 1st:  Romans 13

God wants His children to overcome evil with doing good. (Romans 12:21) He has poured the love of God (Agape) into our hearts through His gift of the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 5:5)  God’s love always desires and does what is best for the total well-being of a person, even one we might consider our enemy!

Paul goes on to instruct the Roman Christians, Jew and Gentile, about the power of love.  “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,”  “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandments there may be are summed up in this one rule:  “Love your neighbor as yourself. ”  Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”  (Romans 13:8-10)

God’s law was really all about love!  If you love another man and his  wife, you will not commit adultery with his wife!  This shows a lack of love for each of them and for God who commands you not to commit adultery!  If you hate another person made in God’s image or plot to murder as a result, you lack love gifted to you by God the Father!  If you steal or covet another’s property, you are not acting in love but in lust and selfish desire!  Love always does what is best for our neighbor and fulfills God’s laws!  This truth should minister grace and freedom to Jew and Gentile!  Let the agape love that God has abundantly and freely give you flow out towards others today and please God!

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Walking in truth and love!

Scripture reading for December 6th: 2nd John 1-13

John is concerned about love and truth in his letters.  He was the disciple ‘whom Jesus loved’!  He knew the love of Jesus from a perspective that others may not have.  He was one of the closest to the Master and wrote this short letter to a group of believers to encourage them to walk in love and truth.

“The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth–and not I only, but also all who know the truth–because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever.  Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” (2nd John 1-3)  John was ‘the elder’, because of his age and position as an apostle.  The truth John was speaking of was Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our Savior.    All who have this truth, will love others who hold to the truth and walk in it.

“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning.  I ask that we love one another.  And this is love:  that we walk in obedience to His commands.” (2nd John 5-6a)   John affirms the simple commands of Jesus Christ.  These are old commands.  Loving God is obedience to His commands to love Him and love others.  It is so simple that a child can understand!

However, love must exercise discernment in the last days.  “Many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but the you may be rewarded fully.” (2nd John 7-8)  John warned this church group and their female leader to be watchful.  They were not to welcome or take in any of the false teachers into their home or church. “Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.” (2nd John 11)

God has great joy when His children walk in love and truth.  Love must be discerning, however.  The last days are filled with deception.  Ask God to give you discernment and help you to apply the scriptures from this short letter.  He wants you fully rewarded!

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The New Command!

Scripture reading for May 24th: John 13:31-14:14

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer.  You will look for Me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.”  “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 13:33-35)

Jesus knew that after Judas left to betray Him, the final hours had come.  He reaffirmed to these faithful men that He was going away and that where He was going, they could not come now.  He would be going to the cross, and willingly laying down His life.  They had other things to do before they would also give their lives for the Gospel!

Jesus was emphatic about a new commandment that He was giving to them.  The act of keeping this commandment would particularly mark them as Jesus’ disciples.  It was not an optional requirement, but something that they must do as His disciples.  This command was all about showing love for one another.  Love is the fulfillment of God’s laws.  Jesus was setting an example for them in showing love by laying His life down for them as well as for the sins of the whole world.  He commanded them to learn to give this kind of self-sacrificing love to each other.

When we love someone with God’s love, we desire the very best for them.  We consider them better than ourselves and act for their highest good.  We speak truth to them and would never steal from them or lie to them.  We would never stay angry with them without resolving the differences.  We would never covet their property, power, or position, but would rejoice with them in the good things God had done for them.  We would seek to bless them and encourage them to be all that God wants them to be and help them with needs.  We would not compete with them, but would seek to help them be the best.

This kind of love marked Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  It is the Father’s heart that His children have this love for each other.  Do all men know that you are Jesus’ disciple because of your extravagant love?

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A reasonable spiritual act!

Scripture reading for November 21st: Romans 12-16

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.”  “Love does no harm to its neighbor. Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8,10

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:17-18

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“Now to Him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made know through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him–to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen!” Romans 16:25-27

These powerful truths all come in Paul’s response to God’s amazing plan of salvation for Jew and Gentile!  In response to God’s amazing grace, we present Him with our bodies as “living sacrifices” and allow God’s word to renew our minds.  The Kingdom of God in us brings righteousness, peace and joy through the Holy Spirit that spills over into our daily living.  We love one another and fulfill all God’s laws! We live in hope of Christ’s return and eternal glory!  What a powerful way to live and prepare for eternity!

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Walking in truth and love!

Scripture reading for December 6th: 2nd John 1-13

John is concerned about love and truth in his letters.  He was the disciple ‘whom Jesus loved’!  He knew the love of Jesus from a perspective that others may not have.  He was one of the closest to the Master and wrote this short letter to a group of believers to encourage them to walk in love and truth.

“The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth–and not I only, but also all who know the truth–because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever.  Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” (2nd John 1-3)  John was ‘the elder’, because of his age and position as an apostle.  The truth John was speaking of was Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our Savior.    All who have this truth, will love others who hold to the truth and walk in it.

“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning.  I ask that we love one another.  And this is love:  that we walk in obedience to His commands.” (2nd John 5-6a)   John affirms the simple commands of Jesus Christ.  These are old commands.  Loving God is obedience to His commands to love Him and love others.  It is so simple that a child can understand!

However, love must exercise discernment in the last days.  “Many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but the you may be rewarded fully.” (2nd John 7-8)  John warned this church group and their female leader to be watchful.  They were not to welcome or take in any of the false teachers into their home or church. “Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.” (2nd John 11)

God has great joy when His children walk in love and truth.  Love must be discerning, however.  The last days are filled with deception.  Ask God to give you discernment and help you to apply the scriptures from this short letter.  He wants you fully rewarded!

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Deception: faith and deeds don’t match!

Scripture reading for December 3rd: 1st John 3:7-24

There is good and evil in the world we live in.  John, writing to the churches under his oversight, warned the believers about being deceived by the false teachers who would try to get them to twist the concepts of what was good and what was evil.  This practice is going on in the Church, even today!

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as He  is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who has been born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1st John 3:7-9)   When a person has been truly ‘born again’, the desire to sin is replaced by a desire to live for God.  The seed of God’s word has brought a ‘new creation’ into being.  This is why Jesus came.  He destroyed the devil’s work of sinning at it’s source, man’s heart.

When a person is really ‘born again’, actions and attitudes change.  Instead of doing evil and choosing to sin and live in sin, that person now begins to choose to do what is righteous and pleasing to God.   This change will not be loved or accepted by those still in the world and doing evil.  John cites Cain and Abel as an example.  Cain killed his brother because his brother’s actions were righteous while his own were evil.  (1st John 3:11-15)  We know Cain was of the Evil One because he murdered his brother.  No murderer has eternal life in them.  Actions must change when we are born of God by faith in Christ!.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1st John 3:18)  John’s exhortation to these believers is good for us today.  We must not just give lip service to the truth.  If we are really God’s children, we must show it by living a righteous life.  We must take the truth of God’s word that we know and apply it in our daily living.  If we are not doing this, we are under deception.  Faith and deeds must match!

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The True Vine!

Scripture reading for May 26th: John 15:1-27

The teaching of Jesus about the Vine would have been a familiar theme to students of the Old Testament.  In Isaiah 5:1-7 we have a prophetic song of the vineyard that spoke of Israel as the vineyard of the Lord and the men of Judah as His delightful plant.  (Isaiah 5:7)   God’s complaint was that the vine of Israel was unfruitful in obedience to the Lord because they broke His commands.   Jesus, in this last night of teaching, stated that He was the true Vine and that His disciples were the branches.

“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” This parable was very easy to understand in the Hebrew culture and in many cultures around the world because grapes are grown in many places.  God is the Gardener and Jesus is the True Vine because He is the only begotten Son of God.  He came in perfect obedience to the Father and would bear much fruit.  God as owner of the Vineyard is looking for fruit and prunes the vine for maximum fruitfulness.

“I am the Vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to My Father’s glory, that you produce much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” (John 14:5-8)  Jesus stressed the importance of abiding in Him.  It was only through a relationship with Him that they would produce fruit.  They would have access to ask the Father for whatever they needed, and God would grant it.  What a promise to those who stayed attached!

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