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Archive for the category “TRUE LOVE for Brothers & Sisters”

The Supreme Inheritance

1 Peter 3:8-9

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to thisyou were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

            Some of us know what it is to receive an inheritance from a parent or relative. However like most things in this temporal world, we often make foolish decisions and soon the windfall is gone and we are right back where we started … a dollar short and a day late.

From our text we are reminded that when we accept Jesus as Savior, we become a child of God and we also become brothers and sisters with all others believers. God our Father called us to inherit His blessings. Oh wow! I like that…but to qualify we must do what Father God says!

Each of us is to get along with each other.  God only has one family and He expects us to get along. Denominations were unknown in New Testament times and unbelievers observed… “See how they love one another.” We too are to be compassionate and sympathetic with those who are hurting and troubled.  “Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.” We are to comfort those in grief or pain; to help those who are weak and lift those who fall; to pray for each other and encourage one another. When insulted or evily treated we are not to try to get even but bless them.

Jesus said, “Whatever you do for one another you are doing for me.”

Oh. How thankful I am for those inherited blessings that are mine in this life and for all the countless blessings I shall know when I arrive in heaven above!

 

Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters (1 Peter 3:8)

W.W.

Pray for these churches:

Coldwater Free Methodist Church

First Congregational Church of Bronson

What Have You Seen?

1 John 4:19-20

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

            Imagine yourself, for a moment, in these two scenarios:

            Scenario 1: You’re on a ship. It springs a leak and starts sinking. While everyone flees to life-rafts, you manage to grab a bag with a bottle of water and some canned meat before it all goes down. No one knows you have it. You are all huddled together in the life-raft, bobbing along the open sea. Eventually, someone spots an island in the distance. As you paddle towards it, you see that the island is incredibly bare – not a stick of shrubbery, no sign of fresh water, it’s basically a big rock in the middle of the ocean. Then one of your fellow travelers says, “Boy I’m thirsty.” What do you do?

            Scenario 2: Same deal, but this time the island you spot is luscious, luxurious and full of life. The trees are heavy with choice fruits and a gushing waterfall is in the distance. As you row towards shore, your fellow traveler says “Boy I’m thirsty.” What do you do?

In Scenario #2, you’d be much more likely to give away your water, wouldn’t you? In fact you might even throw the whole bag open and say, “Water and food for everyone!” In Scenario #2, you would treat your little bag of goodies a lot differently wouldn’t you?

Why? Are you a much nicer person in Scenario #2? Are you suddenly more moral? Is your conscience somehow stronger? What changed between Scenario #1 and scenario #2?

Your vision, that’s what. You saw an abundance of life and it liberated you to be generous. That’s the only difference between the scenarios. In both cases you are the same bundle of sins and selfishness you always were, but once you’ve seen, you’re assured that things are going to be ok, and you’re freer to share what you have.

It has nothing to do with the quality of your moral fiber; it has everything to do with what you see. If your vision is captured by a new reality – then you’re freed to be generous, even loving despite the sinful, selfish ball of contradictions that you are.

Life with Jesus is like that lush tropical island. There is abundance of life and infinite love. When we see what God has done for us and know that we are residents of a kingdom of overflowing life, we, who are loved, are freed to go and love others.

We love because God first loved us. ( 1John 4:19)

                                                                         K.N

Pray for these churches:

Coldwater Church of the Nazarene

First Baptist Church of Coldwater

The Deceptive Roots of Hatred

1 John 2:9-11

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Throughout his first epistle, John presents a litmus test for his readers to prove or disprove their salvation. Most of us would probably skim over the list of questions confidently: Do I love the world? Huh uh. Do I have the Holy Spirit? Check. Do I live in sin? Nope. Do I hate my brothers? All-caps, bold-faced, underlined: WHY, OF COURSE NOT! But what if we dared to go a little deeper? What if we dug down to the actual roots of hatred? What might we find? Would our answer, then, be as emphatic?

The Pharisees and other religious leaders were blatantly guilty of hating Jesus and ultimately sending him to his death. But the roots of their hatred?—poisonous self-love, pride and fear. They were afraid of the shift in people’s opinion against their favor (Matt. 21:23-27), personally offended at Jesus’ rejection of their self-imposed additions to the Law (Matt. 15:1-20), and envious of the rise of his acclaim which, subsequently, brought about the decline of their own (John 11:38-48).

Now, of course, when we look at extreme cases of hatred, it is easy to proudly slap an “I ❤ Others” sticker on our own chest and forget about the matter completely. And to ensure our flaws are concealed we hide behind excuses like, “Well, his and my personalities don’t really jive” or “You know, I’ve tried to interact with her, but, she is a little weird” or even “Hey, God doesn’t expect us to make a conscious effort to intentionally love everyone.” The real issue here is that what we are hiding behind these excuses is sin. Plain and simple. We are unwilling to humble ourselves and admit our own self-love, pride and fear.

Later in 1 John we find that outwardly proclaiming a love for God while secretly harboring hatred toward someone is not only lying but, in essence, murder (4:20-21, 3:9-16). Be careful not to deceive yourself into thinking you do not hate anyone. Instead, inspect the roots of hatred in your own life and then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, expose those areas you so effortlessly ignore and dig them out.

 

“He who hates disguises it with his lips, but he lays up deceit in his heart” (Proverbs 26:24).

M.R.E.

Pray for these churches:

Church of Christ at Bronson

East Ovid United Brethren Church

A New Commandment

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

            The evening was filled with emotion and every gesture took on special meaning and enduring significance. Jesus prepared the disciples for the moment of His betrayal, arrest and crucifixion and wished to impart to them as much as possible in their remaining moments together. He had washed their feet, instituted the “Lord’s Supper” and then revealed that one of their own would betray Him. The foundations of their lives were being shaken. They desperately tried to comprehend what was happening.

Breaking the silence, Jesus spoke, and said: “I’m giving you a new commandment.” Immediately their attention was arrested and raptly focused on what He was about to say. After three years, at the very end He was about to give them something brand new.  Jesus declared to them: “You are to love one another as I love you and this shall be the authenticating mark of your discipleship.” This command was new and radical. They were to love each other with the depth and sincerity as He was about to demonstrate on the cross.

This command is not “new” to us. It is as old as the Gospel. It is, however, as radical as it was when it was first given. Read the text and allow the enormity of Christ’s command to wash over you and sink into your soul.

The Church has many critics who mercilessly pick at an apparent inability to fulfill this command. It is ironic how lovelessly lovelessness is attacked. But how can we successfully obey Christ and love one another as He has loved us?

First, we must know that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives it is impossible. But when a person has had a genuine and ongoing experience with Christ, they cannot do otherwise. Second, love is an act of will. We chose to love. Someone once asked how you eat an elephant. The answer provided: “one bite at a time.”

Let’s make small steps at first to obey the Lord in this regard. It is easy to love those you worship with regularly. Stretch yourself by warmly greeting fellow Bold Faith wristband wearers who go to other churches. When you see them, look them in the eye and greet them as fellow lovers of Jesus.

JMB

Pray for these churches:

Camp Selah Ministries

Crossroad Bible Church of Sherwood

World Harvest Assembly of God

Love Is

1 John 3-16-18

16 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. 17 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?   18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

            I love God, I love my family, I love to fish, I love warm bread just coming out of the oven. How quick we are to use the love word! You may love French fries and you may love your mom but do you love your mom like a French fry? Of course not. (At least I hope you don’t.)         Love is such a powerful word. The first and greatest commandment is found in Matt 22:37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second greatest commandment is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In his letter, John is quick to note that love is not just a feeling or an intention. Love is a choice that binds us to a distinct course of action. “We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers,” John said. “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

This love is not only expressed as a feeling or emotion, but “with actions, and in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). So remember Love is not just a matter of words but also of acts.

“Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth”

  (1 John 3:18)

 B.W.

Pray for these churches:

California Presbyterian Church

Covenant of Grace Christian Church

Union Church of Quincy

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