17th September 2011

Brotherly Love 6 – Do Well Toward

Sixth 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)

Every day life presents us with opportunities to do well toward someone and, all too often, we miss taking up the opportunity.  This may be because we have our minds on ourselves and what we can do to forward our own cause, and not on what we can do for others.

The apostle Peter encourages us to think about others in our daily lives.  Brotherly love is about thinking of others and includes seizing the opportunity to do well toward them when we have the chance.  This in turn means we need to have our minds less on ourselves and more on others.

Jesus sets us the prime example of what this means.  His surely was a life spent with both eyes on the look-out for doing well toward those with whom he came in contact.  He raised the dead, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, taught the unlearned and encouraged the disheartened, out of a heart that was motivated to do well for those he met.  Then he suffered and died to do well toward the whole of humanity.

We are not able to do most of these things, but we are able to do what lies within our ability.  It’s not so much ‘the what’ as ‘the why’.  It is our motivation that is of first importance.  What is in our heart?  We should ask, “What do I desire for those around me and what can I do about it?”  With this question in our minds life takes on a very different complexion.  The selfishness that bedevils us is resisted and we quite literally become a new person, a person after Jesus’ own heart and mind.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

All this he did in order to do well towards us. 

Father in heaven, thank you for all you have done for me in Jesus Christ including leaving a wonderful example of your heart and mind towards all your children.  May I be alert to the opportunities that today will bring to do well towards my brothers and sisters in the world.

Study by David Stirk

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