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20 April 2012

Living in Love - 20 April

On Wednesday, we discussed ways we are to live as believers, as well as ways we could be a stumbling block to others. Today we’ll talk about love.

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:14-15 (ESV)

Ouch! Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer? Yikes! I’d better look carefully at my acquaintances and make sure that I don’t hate! Besides not showing Christ’s love, it shows we still abide in death.  What actions show Christ’s love?

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)

I have to love the guy at work who never bathes, talks too loudly, and constantly interrupts me? Or the woman who sits next to me in church, reeking of perfume and singing off key? Yep. Can’t we just ignore some of these verses? How do we know we are responsible to love? Could that have been written just for the disciples?

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. 1 Thess 4:9-12 (ESV)

Have you been challenged to look at those who are difficult to love – and make changes in your life to follow Christ’s commands? Without naming names, I would like to know how these verses have impacted you!

I close this week with the description of Christian love quoted over and over. As you read these verses, think about the areas where you excel, and ask God for help in the areas you don’t reach the mark. As always, I covet your emails, comments, and questions. See you Monday!

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor 13:1-8, 13 (ESV)

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