10th September 2011

Brotherly Love 5 – Caring

Fifth 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)

Brotherly love finds its outlet in many different ways.  In this study we are considering some of the many ways in which brotherly love is expressed in our day to day lives.

One obvious way is with the concept of care.  Our fellow human beings are not pieces of furniture, inanimate items that pass through our lives and leave little or no impression.  Rather, our fellow human beings are heirs of God, and joint heirs of Jesus Christ who cared so much for us all that he was willing to die for us all.

Jesus was the perfect human being; he was what we are all intended, indeed were created, to be.  It is in him and his life that we find the true humanity that God intended that we live.  His life was marked by the care of others as was his death, which he braved,  not for himself , but for all of us.  The apostle Paul captures this thought when he writes to the church in Philippi, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

Self-centredness is our arch-enemy, our enemy within.  Nothing is more repulsive than the prima donna who always wants to be the centre of attention and only has concern for him/herself and has no time for the needs and benefits of others.  This is the very antithesis of what Jesus was and what God would have us be.

Notice what the apostle Paul says immediately before this:  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV).  Here is the key—we must think of others as better than ourselves, and this will mean that we put their care before our own.  No one said the Christian journey was easy, but as we yield to the lead of the Holy Spirit we will find ourselves following this pattern of life more and more; the same pattern that Jesus followed.

Father in heaven, thank you for the beautiful and perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ as he lived amongst us.  I will endeavour with the help and strength of the Holy Spirit to follow that example as closely as I can today,  and into the future.

Study by David Stirk

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