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Brotherly Love

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By Glenn Ward

          Our love for God must be first in our lives. We are commanded to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul. Next we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 26:36-40). If we love our God we must love our brothers and sisters in Christ (1John 5:6). We are, also, to love our wives as we love ourselves. Wives are to love their husbands Ephesians 5:22, 29). Children are to love their parents and parents are to love their parents (Ephesians 6:4; Titus 2:4). We are even commanded to love our enemies (Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:43-44). Love is an important part of our lives. This type of love does not come naturally. This is not a lustful type of love. We are not fulfilling or satisfying the lust of our bodies. This love thinks about others and not self.

          Brotherly love is important part of the church. Jesus because He loved us purchased the church with his blood (Acts 20:28). He gave His life that we might live eternally in heaven (Romans 5:8). God is love and we must love Him if we want to be in the church (1 John 4:8, 16). If we love God we must love those in the church. The church will grow stronger with greater love. Those on the outside the body of Christ will see this love within us. We cannot actually see love but we see the actions which are the results of this love. The apostle Paul said whatever we do in the world without love amounts to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). We do not profit anything and are like a clanging cymbal or a sounding brass. We are not laying up treasures in heaven. We will be judged upon what we do here on earth compared with the commands in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). It is appointed for man to die once and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).  

          Let us list the important things about brotherly love. The list is not in any specific order of importance because all are equally important. If we do not love our brothers and sisters in Christ we cannot love God. How can we love God which we cannot see if we do not love those we can see (1 John 4:20). The world will judge us and the church by how we show this love. Do we prefer to associate with Christians over others in the world? Without brotherly love we cannot go to heaven because we breaking a law of God (1 John 4:21). Brotherly love is a test as to whether we are in the Lord or not. Loving our brothers and sisters is proof that we are in Christ (1John 5:2).

          This love is long suffering; we are patient with others and with ourselves. Things can go wrong but we do not let ourselves get out of control. We are not impatient with others; we tolerate little things that they do that annoy us. This love is kind. We must be kind to others. We are taught to treat others as we would like others to treat us. We even go a step further and treat others with kindness when they treat us badly. Brotherly love is not selfish; we think of others more than ourselves. Serving others as we see their needs is the same as serving Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:31-46).  Brotherly love does not cause us to become envious of others (1 Corinthians 13:4). We laugh when they laugh and we cry when they cry. This love cast out fear. We do not fear the life to come. We can stand boldly before the throne of Christ on judgment day (Hebrew 4:16). To be bold does not mean we are boastful. We assured ourselves that we are doing our best in serving God. We do not have to fear death because we know that heaven is prepared for us. We are prepared to meet our savior.
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