29th October 2011

Brotherly Love 11-Think Of Others

The Eleventh of a Series

“…love as brothers…”
1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)

The problem of selfishness pervades our earthly existence.  From the Garden of Eden to the moment you read this, our fallen, broken human nature has bedevilled us with selfish desire.

I read once of a soldier who was awarded the VC, posthumously.  He threw himself over a hand grenade to protect his fellow soldiers.  This was a very brave, selfless act—he was clearly thinking of others and not himself.  Yet in a way he was thinking of his greater self.  There was something of him in his comrades that he was protecting:  they were all part of the one unit that he was part of.  The searching question is: “Would he have done the same if he had been captured and the hand grenade, upon exploding, was going to kill his captors?”

The apostle Paul actually considers this situation:  “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:6-10)

This, of course, is the example that Jesus set for us to follow.  This is truly thinking of others.  There is always an aspect of sacrifice when we put other’s needs or wishes or benefits before our own.

This is even true of those who do not behave kindly toward us.  Read Matthew 5:44:  “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”  This is quite a tall order—as it has often been said, ’nobody said it would be easy’, but with the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit we have a strength available that can transform our puny efforts and bring us success.

It is quite possible that an opportunity to think of others will come our way today.  Let’s be ready with a Godly response.

Father in heaven, thank you for your instruction in things that we would not see ourselves, and for your help in accomplishing your will.  Please help us to overcome our natural selfishness and follow the sacrificial life of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Study by David Stirk

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