Monday, March 5, 2012

Brotherly Love

Romans 12:9-13  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  (10)  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;  (11)  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;  (12)  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;  (13)  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

            As a boy growing up, I can never remember my Dad or my Mother ever telling me that they loved me.  They may have, but I just don’t remember.  (But, I know they both loved me.  I also believe it was a love “without dissimulation.”  ([D]issimulation is defined as “without hypocrisy” and hypocrisy is defined as “without a false love.”)
            I know the “love” that Paul is referring to isn’t a paternal nor a maternal love.  This is a love that is brotherly love, or a love of the brethren.  Within the realm of this “love,” we are to “Abhor [detest; hate] that which is evil.” 

1 John 3:18  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

As Christians, we are not to be hypocritical.  Our “love” is to be a pure and intentional “love.”

Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

We may feel incapable of having a “true heart.”  Yet, we know we are to walk in “faith” with our minds clear of evil thoughts.  (Albeit we know, we cannot always be what we ought to be.)

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

We all fall short of God’s expectations, (but we can’t allow this to become our excuse for not trying.)  We as Christians must have the “love,” the intent, and resolve to do the best we can.  (God has never expected perfection from imperfect beings.  He knows our capabilities and our limitations.)
            So, “Christian how strong is your “brotherly love?   Are you “kindly affectioned” to the brethren?”  We as Christians must endeavor to be our best and as we serve God and His Son Jesus, we will become stronger Christians. 
            In our work for The Lord, we will have tribulations (problems) and some may be mighty, (yet we must remain strong in Him.  We are to rejoice in what God has done for others and for ourselves.)
            The question remains, “How do we show this love?”  (I believe it is like the “love” that was shown me by my Dad and Mother.  It wasn’t an outward showing, it was an inward knowing.)    Our “love” for God and the brethren is the same kind of love.  (It is a love of association) as we love to honour our brethren by being in their presence.  We serve God along side one another, as we prefer to be with Christians than with worldly religious people.  It isn’t a “love” that must be announced, but a love of rejoicing with friends who “love” us in a like manner.
            So, “Christian, what kind of “love” emanates from your heart?  Is it a Christian “love” or a hypocritical worldly love with no emotion, just words?”
            “Reader, if you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour, He is waiting for your heart.  He wants you, and you need Him. ” 

Acts 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Call on His Name today.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

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