Summary: Continuing to look at the cornerstone of the church - love.
Love One Another
November 1, 2015
Last week we were looking at loving one another. We jumped right into it. Understanding it’s not easy to like someone you don’t like, let alone to love them. We are looking at 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. As Paul reminded us that love supersedes knowledge, martyrdom, giving, speaking in other languages and even faith.
There’s a lot in that! But I’m not going to review it all. Suffice it to say, we need to have love first and foremost in our lives.
Paul reminded us ~
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" – Romans 12:18
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" – Ephesians 4:2
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy..." – Hebrews 12:14
What strikes me before we move on . . . is the statement from Paul . . . if it is possible, as far as it depends on you . . . as well as the writer of Hebrews stating a very similar sentiment . . . make every effort.
We need to consider if we do that! I know there are times I have fallen short on that one. I’ve really thought about that in light of what’s gone on and know that I’ve been harsh, pointed, to the point . . . but have I been gentle? Have I made every effort to live in peace? As far as it depends on me, live at peace? Do I bear with one another in love?
I could safely say NO! I’m not seeking to be a martyr, but it’s easy to fall short. Because others fall short, does not give us license to fall to their level, it does not give us the right to say whatever comes to mind. So, for that part, I would ask for your forgiveness as I seek to be a better example to God’s people.
With that in mind, you see, Jesus saw love as so important that He said this in John 13:34 — A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. ~ John 13:34
Now notice that Jesus says that this is a commandment, not a suggestion. And God never commands us to do anything that we cannot do.
We think love is something that just happens to us. The world kind of teaches us about a cheap form of love. That it’s so easy to fall in love and fall out of love. It’s acceptable to go from partner to partner because the world says that’s ok. We get the idea that it’s okay because we just can’t help falling in love or falling out of love. It just happens.
And in a sense there is some truth to that. We meet someone and we fall in love, we didn’t demand it, we maybe didn’t seek it, but it happened. Now Jesus isn’t talk about your dating and married life. He’s talking about the people we meet on an everyday basis. The people we go to school with, the people we work with, the people we worship with and so on.
Jesus is commanding us to love. This is not the same as falling in love like it’s a choice. There really is no choice in this.
The Bible teaches that love is something we can control. God commands us to love each other. I believe this means — I can will to love you, and you in turn can will to love me. So this is not a hopeless situation.
Now, what kind of love is being talked about here? In Philippians 2:4 Paul tells us he wants us to behave as Jesus Christ behaved – to love in the same way that Jesus loved.
And here’s the way Jesus loved. He said, 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
In other words, love becomes unselfish. You begin to think about other people and their interests just like you think about yourself and your interests. You become unselfish. Now I want to apply that in several different areas.
First of all, see how that would work in the family. Let’s suppose someone in every family represented here would say, "I’m going to go home and put this into practice."
Start with your spouse. After Christ . . . you ought to love your husband or your wife first and most. You ought to be kinder, more tender, more gentle to them. That may not always be easy, but can you extend kindness, gentleness and grace to them?