“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.”
love as brothers,
The phrase “love as brothers” is one Greek word. The word “love” is rapport love. It is a rapport based friendship. We return love because someone loves us. This is reciprocal love.
This is not the word for sacrificial love but human affection. Sacrificial love is the aggressive seeking of the good of others independent of merit or reciprocation. This word is the return of someone else’s love.
The love of God and the love of man go hand in hand. If there is no love of man there is no love of God. It is one thing to love but it is another thing to love as brothers. Do you love the family of God?
PRINCIPLE: God wants us to love reciprocally as well as sacrificially.
APPLICATION: What are you doing for the God’s people? How are you helping God’s people? This goes beyond missionaries. How can I help God’s people in my home church?
We sing “Make me a blessing today.” This is great spiritual ambition. “I would like to be a blessing to someone today. I wonder if I could spread sunshine and cheer to God’s people today?” Pray this before you go to church, “Lord, make me a blessing to some discouraged Christian today. Make me a blessing to someone who is having a problem.”
Not many people commit to being a blessing to God’s people. We expect others to minister to us. We do not minister to them. Some of us cannot preach or sing but all of us can extend encouragement to someone. Why not determine that “I am not going to leave church without being a blessing to some stranger or someone to whom I have not communicated for many months”?
As we become acquainted with the problems of others our own problems shrink. We then realize that we are better off than others. Alas, we do not care and so we do not help others. We do not “love as brothers.” God discounts loveless service (I Co 13:1).
Are you waiting for an engraved invitation to serve others? Accept by face value God’s Word that he wants you to minister to Christians. There is room for everyone in the service of the King.