The Way of Love - Brotherly Love

The Way of Love
Getting Beyond Surface Relationships with Our Brothers & Sisters

When it comes to Christians being called to love & serve all of humanity the Scriptures are abundantly clear. Love is the all-encompassing attribute of the biblical Christian (Matthew 5:44-46; 22:27-39) and the Scriptures describe this love for others in various ways (loving your spouse, your neighbor, your enemy, those in need, etc...). One love relationship emphasized in the Word of God is the Christian's love for the body of Christ. This is a brotherly love shared between Christians, a love that is distinct from our love for humanity in general.

Christians are depicted as the blood-bought family of God; and Jesus prayed that we would be one and unified just as he and the Father are one (John 17:21)! Christians are to be known as a loving community to the rest of world (John 13:34-35). One of the marks of being an authentic Christian is that we have a sincere and selfless love for one another (1 John 4:7-21). We are to be patient with one another and forgiving towards one another (Col 3:12-13). We are to be uplifting and encouraging towards each other, stirring one another on to godliness (Heb 10:24-25).

Notice that according to John 13:34-35, Christians are to be known by our love for one another. When non-Christians peer into the Christian family they should see mad amounts of love, support, and encouragement. My question for us is, “Is this what people see when they look into your life and into our young adult ministry?” As I’ve said before, you are only scratching the surface of the Christian experience of true life until you begin to devote yourself to serving & loving others.

Here are some probing questions I would like all of us to honestly & prayerfully ask ourselves:
  • Do I come to church or Bible study for only selfish reasons or do I come to encourage my brothers and sisters in the faith?

  • When was the last time I spiritually encouraged someone in our church or Bible study group?

  • Do I meet regularly with other Christians to encourage & strengthen them in the faith (Hebrews 10:24-25)?

  • When was the last time I initiated a conversation with someone in our church that I do not normally talk to?

  • Have I gone out of my way to let someone who hasn’t been at church know that I missed them and hope they can make it next time?

  • Has my circle of close friends at church become “clickish” and possibly hurtful to our church ministry?

  • Am I doing my part to help our church become that community which is known for their love for one another that Jesus talked about in John 13:34-35?

Remember, no area of our life is to be left untouched and unaffected by the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Christ is the most glorious being in the entire universe and his very nature demands that we yield our entire life unto him. Are you holding out on anything? Is this issue of loving and serving your fellow brothers and sisters in the faith an area that you may be holding out on?

These are important questions to ask ourselves!