Love One AnotherIn these times, we need each other for support.
I John 3:11-24
“Let all that you do be done in love.”1 Corinthians 16:14
“For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…”1 John 3:11
God created family to be a blessing, but as early as the creation story, family became a battlefield. Adam and Eve soon blamed each other for eating the forbidden fruit. Their first children hated and killed another. The lack of love led to spiritual and physical death. So, God created a new family in Christ, the Church. We are identified not by age, color, or size, but by our practice of love, real authentic love. Christ-like love that flows from our lives, and can be seen in all we say and do.
That is what John is sharing with us in the verses mentioned above. Such love is the sign of new life. It is a love that you not only extend toward those who love you but also toward those who do not love you. It is a love that does not depend upon a reciprocal relationship but loves the unlovely, the unqualified, the ungrateful, the selfish, and the difficult. Is this an easy thing to do always? Well, no at least for me, it is not. But this is the character of true love, and it is always proof that a new life has come, the life born of God. John talks about us being willing to give our lives for one another if necessary. Also, to be willing to share with those in need. Those are signs of real authentic love. This is a love we can have through Christ.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16 is our most powerful example of pouring out our lives in love, which is found in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I just recently had an experience of the pouring out of love for friends of mine. A couple of weeks ago, I had a late-night text from my friends, Liz and Don McCulloch that their beautiful 35-year-old daughter-in-law, Corey had contracted the COVID-19 virus. They immediately put Corey into ICU at the hospital and applied a ventilator to help her breathe. Their son, Jon was beside himself because they quickly put him and their four children in quarantine. He wanted to comfort Corey in this scary situation. Jon wanted to be by Corey’s side in the hospital, but could not because of the contagious nature of this disease. I told the McCulloch’s I would start a prayer chain and that we would start praying for Corey right away. I am so thankful for friends who instantly showed concern and faithfully prayed for a young mother they didn’t even know in Port Huron, Michigan. That my friends are what the Church is all about. God answered our prayers, and Corey could breathe on her own a week later, got out of ICU and then was able to go home to her family about a week after that. But, it was wonderful that we can count on each other in times of need. Again, that is what being in Christ is all about, lifting each other up in love.*
Father, perfect your love in us. Show us how to lay down our lives in practical ways, in acts of love for our those around us, for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Teach us to live our lives as Christ did, and be obedient to His desires for our life. Guide us to those who need to see or hear Your love today. In Your precious name, we pray. Amen.
* Permission was granted by the McCulloch’s to share this story.