3rd September 2011

Brotherly Love 4 – Children Of God

Fourth in a Series

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

Often our love for one another is clouded by how we think of one another. How do we see our fellow man? Are they threats? Do they represent a challenge to be beaten down and overcome? Do we have an ‘us or them’ mentality? Are they to be feared? Do we find our own self-esteem and self-worth by being better than them in some way?

The example we were set by Jesus entertained none of the above complexes and paranoia. There was a simplicity about Jesus, and openness of face, that saw in us what we were created to be and what we one day will be; and in this he rejoiced. There was no insecurity that often drives our view of our fellow man. Rather Jesus had a confidence that was from God. He knew his value to his Father and needed nothing more to satisfy his sense of worth. His example challenges us to see our fellow man in this same way, to recognise that they too are children of God with all the potential that we have. When we see one another in this way it affects the way we think about each other, the value we put on others; and consequently the way we think about them, the way we speak about them, and how we deal with them.

We can’t really begin to have brotherly love toward others until we recognise them for who they really are in Jesus Christ—children of God, destined to live with God and with one another, throughout all of eternity. The apostle Paul writing to the church in Rome encouraged them this way, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

Brotherly love that is not a reflection of Christ’s love is not sincere. It is tainted by our carnal nature, which is bent toward selfishness. Let the true brotherly love of Jesus be the motivation that brings us to truly love one another. Let the light of Jesus shine from us in our dealings with our fellow man. “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him” (1 John 2:9-10).

Father in heaven, thank you for the light that shines in the world, the light of Jesus’ love for all of us.  Let that light shine through me as I engage with my brothers and sisters, fellow children of God.

Study by David Stirk

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