27th August 2011


Third in a Series

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;”
1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)

This simple instruction from the Apostle Peter addresses the central thought, the heart and core of Christian living. The New Testament has much to say about how we behave toward one another, because it declares how we understand God and his behaviour toward us.

Jesus told us that the commandment to love our brother as ourselves was like unto the great commandment to love God with all our being (Matthew 22:36-40). Notice how the Apostle John sees love of brother as a test that we love God: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). John is very bold in his statement and pulls no punches. He sees how hypocritical this position is and how damaging it is to the perpetrator.

It is quite evident that the same love we have for God, who has done everything for us, has to motivate us in our relationships with one another. It is quite the ugliest thing to see a brother/sister behaving differently in their dealings with their fellow men. Usually, and quite obviously, this kind of behaviour is the result of selfishness, self-centredness—the very thing this commandment is speaking against. We are naturally selfish, it is in our DNA so to speak, but it is for this reason that we need to think through our actions and view them in the mirror of Jesus’ commandments.

Let’s grasp the opportunity this new day gives us to take particular note of our motives and our actions toward our fellow human beings, and let’s endeavour to bring them captive to Jesus Christ.

Our Father in heaven, I thank you for your great love towards me which knows no bounds. I determine today to reflect more perfectly that same love to my fellow man as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded me to do.

Study by David Stirk

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