“Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1)
Yesterday we talked about the love of God and the many ways He demonstrates that love to us. Today let’s take a few moments to talk about loving each other and how that looks in our daily life.
Numerous passages in the Bible talk about love. We quickly think of I Corinthians 13 which lists its many characteristics, but Hebrews 13 may not come to mind. The chapter begins by admonishing to “let brotherly love continue.” Brotherly love is “the love which Christians cherish for each other” (Strong’s Concordance). Love provides the foundation we need for all we do in serving the Lord. This kind of love is an action word more than an emotion. It’s love at work.
Within its opening verses, Hebrews 13 speaks of:
Hospitality to strangers
Empathy for those imprisoned (including for their faith)
Sorrow for those mistreated
Faithfulness in marriage
Contentment with what we possess
When we think of these things as an action rather than an emotion, we begin to understand ways we can express love to those around us. This is showing love in the same manner as the Lord loves us. He called it a mark of our discipleship.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35, NKJV)
How did Jesus show His love? Social status did not matter to Him. We see Him interacting with many on the edge of society. He spoke kindly to the woman at the well and the woman who touched the hem of His garment. He was not afraid to touch the leper. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. He was concerned about the widow whose son had died. He took time for little children, the blind, the lame, and the tormented. His love was an active love that encompassed everyone.
By following the Lord’s example, how do we touch our world with love? With openness, warmth, empathy, compassion, faithful commitment, and generosity. We do not wrap ourselves up in materialism or envy others’ success. To do so would only distract us from allowing God’s love to shine through our lives wherever we go.
First Peter 3:8 (ESV) sums it up this way:
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
And that’s the way to love others just as the Lord loves us!
Lord, help me to be sensitive to the needs of those I encounter each day. I am Your representative to the lost, the lonely, the confused, and the hurting of this world. Help me to see each soul as someone lovingly created in Your image. I want to reflect Your love and compassion wherever I go. I want to be a true disciple and put my love to work.
(Other verses to meditate upon: Romans 12:9; I Corinthians 13:4-7; I Thessalonians 3:12; I John 4:8-12.)