“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 13:1 NIV)
Loving those who are in the family of faith should be as simple as this--just love as a brother or sister in Christ!
If loving those in the family of faith is simple–why do we have all the chaos and confusion in the Body of Christ–those who profess to be true Believers regarding the validity of God’s Word for “all time?” Is it because the family of faith harbors those who undermine God’s true authority in our lives? Is it because there are those in the family of faith who care more about mesmerizing people than promoting God’s Word in its simplistic truth?
When we love God, we want to obey and please Him. When we receive His love we have the capability to love all in the family of faith and those who are not, but especially those who share like-minded faith in Jesus Christ. When we truly love one another, we would not seek to cause confusion about anything and certainly not about God’s Word.
Loving others means we look for ways to serve them to make sure they have what they need and it also means that we correct–in love–those who are going astray. Loving others means we sometimes sacrifice self (not on a cross–Jesus did that), but we put aside doing some things for self in order to do for others. This is love–that we focus on others in outward expression and do what we can for them.
Now–do we really know how to love others if we do not love ourselves? If we do not care for self–physically, emotionally, and financially–we cannot love others. Love begins with loving self, loving God and receiving His love so we can love others. However, many people think that loving self first–is a selfish love. If we don’t love self, we cannot give to someone else what we don’t have. Loving self means taking care of self so that no harm comes to self; self has the means to assist others and that can’t happen if a person is financially depleted or emotionally depleted.
When we love God–He keeps filling us over and over again–so we have love overflowing onto others and when that love overflows onto others, they have an abundance of love to share and the cycle continues and expands as the love overflows. Our love of God grows when we understand His love for us and the abundant life He desires us to love. The more we love Him, the more love He pours into us and we begin to see others as He sees them and love even more.
How does God see us? He sees us as the creation He established from the beginning and when He was finished, He said, “It is good.” We are His uniquely, wonderful, creation and He loved us before we were ever formed. He knew us and planned our lives for us before we ever knew He loved us. Some discover early in life and some discover late in late in life, just how much He loves us. It doesn’t matter when we make the discovery, as long as we make it and demonstrate it by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ–the family of faith–and loving all others.
Let’s do it! Let’s show the world how love is really done and let’s start with our natural families, move on to our spiritual families, and then onto the secular family–who may not even know us, but we can love them anyway.