Love One Another
Romans 13:8-10 ESV
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
It is our duty, our obligation, as followers of Jesus Christ, to love one another with God’s love. This love is not like human love, though, for it is not based on feelings, and it has nothing to do with whether or not the ones we are to love are deserving of that love, in our human estimation. It has everything to do with the fact, though, that God so loved us that he gave his life up for us so that we could be saved from our sins and have eternal life with him. Thus, we should love others with that same kind of love.
This kind of love is also not based in human flesh. It is divine love. It prefers what God prefers, which is what is pure, honest, righteous, holy, moral, kind, generous, and selfless, etc. So, when we love with this kind of love, we will not take advantage of others, nor will we willfully do what we know is going to harm them. Thus, we will not steal from them, slander them, lie to them, commit adultery with or against them, or be hateful towards them, etc. We will not despitefully use them to our own advantage, either. And, we will not trick them, play mind games with them, or deceive them in any way.
When we love with this kind of love, we love our enemies, as well as our friends. We pray for them, do good to them, and want the best for them. We treat others as well as we treat ourselves, providing we are treating ourselves in the right way, though. We put other’s needs above our own, and we will willingly give up our own rights and reputations to see others be free from their addictions to sin, too. For, we truly care more about others’ true needs than we do about whether people will like us or not.
The Bible says, too, that we are to love one another as Jesus loved us. Well, he left his throne in heaven, he came to earth, was born as a baby, took on human flesh, and suffered and was tempted as we are, yet without sin. He preached the good news of salvation from sin to the religious and to those who never trusted in the Lord to save them from their sins, even though he was hated and reviled in return, and even put to death. He brought comfort to the sorrowful, healed the sick and afflicted, and he gave his very life for us on that cross so we can be free from our sin addictions.
If we love others with this love, how should that change…?
So, if we love others with this kind of love, how should that change how we treat them? Or, how we view them? Or, how we talk about them when they are not present? This kind of love is selfless, and it thinks about what the other person truly needs above its own needs, and it willingly gives up its own rights and reputation to see others go free from sin and to walk in the light of God’s love, in his righteousness and in his holiness. And, it cares about others’ needs, and listens to people, and prays for them, and comforts them and speaks healing to them, but not lies, but truth only.
And, we will obey God and his Word, for in this we also show that we love his children, and this is also how we show that we love God. Thus, we will never tempt others to sin against God, nor will we lead them into sin. We will also not rejoice with them or over them when they do fall into sin, but we will weep over them, and have sorrow in our hearts, and we will do all we can to lift them back up and to help them back on to the right path, on the straight and narrow. And, we will not allow ourselves to be pulled down with them, either, but we will stand strong in our faith, even if they reject us.
Also, when we love others with God’s love, we will be patient with them, not in the sense of being accepting of sin, though, or not in the sense of ignoring sin, either. But, love does not give up on people, but it always holds out hope that our loved ones will turn their hearts to the Lord in submission to his will for their lives. And, it is kind, but not in the way some people interpret kind, for it is never kind to tell people lies. Jesus was kind, but he always told people the truth about their sins and of their need to repent and to trust him to be their Lord and Savior.
We also will not be jealous of what they have that we don’t have to where we are resentful and bitter towards them. We also will be humble toward them and not let our pride stand in the way of us loving them. And, thus, we will listen to them and consider what they say, and we will be thoughtful to show that we did listen, and we do care, and that their lives are important to us as well as are their true needs. Thus, we will not insist on our own way, unless, of course, it is God’s way, i.e. the way of salvation.
This love does not compromise with the world or compromise truth to be loving, for that is not love. It is selfishness, because we want others to be happy with us, more than we want them to be in relationship with Christ.
Wake from Slumber
Romans 13:11-14 ESV
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
While it is true that the ungodly in this world are spiritually asleep, whereas the godly are spiritually awake, it is possible for the church, at some point in time, to be lulled to sleep by feel good messages which coddle people in their sins, and by the worldliness in the church, resulting in many compromises with the world and spiritual apathy. It is also possible, too, within the gatherings of the church, that there are many ungodly people who think they are godly, but who have bought into a false faith and a false hope of salvation based on a lie. So, truly they, too, are spiritually asleep.
So, this is a call to the church which has been lulled to sleep to wake up. This is a call to forsake their idols, their sins, their apathy and their worldliness, and to humble themselves before God in repentance and to follow the Lord from this moment on in purity, righteousness and holiness. For, our salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. In other words, we are saved, we are being saved, but our salvation will not be complete until our Lord returns one day to take us to be with him forever.
So, what is this saying exactly? It is saying that, as Christ’s followers, we should no longer be living the way we did before we believed in Jesus, for Jesus set us free from slavery to sin, and he has empowered us to walk in his righteousness and holiness. There is never an excuse for any Christian to ever still be walking (living) in sin, making it our practice. In fact, all throughout the New Testament the church is warned that if they walk according to the flesh, and if they make sin their practice, that they will die in their sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven.
For, you see, faith is not a one-time deal, then we live our lives, and one day we go to heaven when we die. Faith is continuous. We have to walk according to the Spirit, and by the Spirit be putting sin to death, if we want to have eternal life with God. And, that is what this is talking about here. It is saying that time is running out, and our Lord will come back one day, and that he will judge us, and we won’t be accepted merely because we one day prayed a prayer to receive Christ. He will judge us by our walks of faith, not by our professions of faith. We must endure with him to the end if we want the assurance and hope of eternal life with him and heaven as our home.
So, it is imperative that we forsake our…
So, it is imperative that we forsake our idols, our sins, sinful addictions and practices, all that is unholy, ungodly, impure and unrighteous. This means we need to purify ourselves as God is pure, and that we need to be holy as he is holy. We obviously can’t do this in our flesh, but this is of the Spirit, but we have to cooperate with the Spirit’s work via yielding to the Lordship of Christ, surrendering to his will for our lives, and walking in obedience to his instructions to us.
This forsaking of sins and idols also includes all that we willfully take into our eyes, ears and minds every day. We need to examine all TV shows, news shows, music, games, movies, and all recreation and entertainment and everything we see, hear or read before the Lord in prayer, and against his Word. And, we need to see if it is ungodly, unholy, immoral, impure, etc., and if it is, we need to get rid of it, for as the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we take into our minds we take into our hearts and then from our hearts flows all sorts of evil, if what we are taking in is evil, or even if it represents small compromises with the world and with the ungodly.
We need to find our lives in Jesus Christ alone, in other words. We need to bathe our minds and hearts with his word, and then we need to follow his truth, his ways, and his will.
Only in Him
An Original Work / February 19, 2014
Based off Isaiah 30
Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.
Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.
Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.
Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.
Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.
Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 7:49 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus!