Summary: As believers in Jesus Christ we need to make a clear commitment to loving each other as a family, for our sake and for our witness to a watching world.
We’ve Got Problems, But We’re Family!
Text: Romans 12:10 "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love".
Psalm 133:1 "How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony!"
The December 31, 1989 issue of the Chicago Tribune pictured a series of photographs of the best photos of the decade. Michael Fryer’s image of a rescue attempt was a dramatic fire photo. It captured a fireman and a paramedic carrying a fire victim away from the scene. The blaze Fryer covered occurred in December 1984 at Irving Park and Kenmore Avenues in Chicago. It seemed routine until firefighters discovered a mother and five children huddled in one apartment’s kitchen. Fryer said firefighters surmised: "She could have escaped with two or three but couldn’t decide who to pick and choose to wait for firefighters to arrive. All of them died of smoke inhalation."
The apostle Paul wrote, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love" (Rom. 12:10).
Devoted means "full of tenderness" or "affectionate." Actually, it is a compound Greek word that literally means, "love of the family." The word translated brotherly love is a familiar Greek word, philadelphia. It means literally "love of the brethren." I find it quite intriguing that Paul employs two words-love of family and love of brothers-to communicate the need for commitment in loving.
The deep affection and abiding commitment made between natural family members, like the Chicago mother toward her children, should be expressed in the spiritual family as well. We are to love our brothers and sisters of faith, as we love our brothers and sister of blood. Brotherly kindness is an affection that family members have for one another.
Jesus has given authority to the entire world to judge whether or not we are believers on the basis of our love for fellow believers. Love is the badge that identifies us as believers of Jesus Christ. Anytime we do not show love toward fellow believers we forfeit our right to proudly represent Jesus Christ in the world.
People around us who are bored by doctrine and can’t fathom theology don’t understand love. People look at Christians before they look at our creed. They form their opinions about our religion when they see how we behave. If they like the melody, they will listen to our words. If what they hear is discord, then the lyrics of our faith seldom register in their lives.
As believers in Jesus Christ we need to make a clear, unequivocal commitment to loving each other as a family, for our sake and for our witness to a watching world.
Psalm 133:2 "For harmony is as precious as the fragrant anointing oil that was poured over Aarons head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe."
Notice that it begins with the head and works it’s way down. It begins with leadership and flows down to everyone else. If it’s absent or missing in your area of ministerial responsibility, then let it begin today! If its present, keep it flowing!