When you are not sure you really love others…

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      When you are not sure you really love others…


      Most equate love with a feeling, and surely love does generate feelings.

      Is the love of Christ a feeling? Or is it a choice based on faith. I believe it can be both.  First comes the choice and sometimes later the feeling of love follows, but not always, as we are charged to love our enemies as well.  (Mat 22:39-40, Gal 5:13-15).

      We can know and love God through His word, through learning about him as a little child being taught by our parents. We can know Him by doing His will and by praying to Him. We can also know about God through the creation.

      Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

      What humans should love the most about God…is that through His work on the cross we are saved unto eternal life.

      Many believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are saved, and this happened because God first loved you, that He died for you while you were yet a filthy sinner.

      Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

      We did not love God before we were saved and it is a choice by faith to love God after we are saved.

      1Co 8:2-3  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

      A person can be saved and not love God because our salvation is not based on whether or not we love God (like in John 14:15 and 1John 5:2), but when a person chooses to love God in return, others know it to be so because their words and actions testify to the sincerity of their love.

      When you love someone you want to do what is in their best interest. (1Cor 13:6, Phi 2:3-8, Gal 5:13). I have learned that love is not just about pleasing someone! For example, one of the biggest problems we see in parenting today is parents always trying to please their children, thinking that loving them means to please them. This is not only wrong, but detrimental. It does nothing but create entitlement and discontentment and is not what bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is about.

      Another example is the religious mind. The religious mind wants to assuage God’s wrath or earn God’s favor. They want to please Him in order to get things from Him. If to love is to please, then by definition, this is love. But it obviously is not. It is selfishness.  If it is love, it is with dissimulation, which is the very thing God instructs against.

      Rom 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

      Paul DOES instruct us to please our neighbor, but he caveats that it must for his good unto edification. Pleasing someone can be a loving thing to do, under the right circumstances, for another’s good and their edification.

      Rom 15:2  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

      God tells us it is important to Him that we love one another.  The Apostle Paul tells us to be kindly affectioned, with brotherly love, preferring one another and to serve one another, forbearing in love and the Lord will increase love in us toward others, to all men, because we are taught of God to love one another.  Let us take a look at some of these verses.

      Rom_12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

      Rom_13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

      Gal_5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

      Eph_4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

      1Th_3:12  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

      1Th_4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

      So let’s talk about this. What does it mean to be kindly affectioned to one another, to love one another?  First, this is speaking among believers, (though we certainly should also show kindly affection to anyone, believer or not).  The understanding of preferring one another has not to do with being in each other’s company or avoiding the company of unbelievers. Preferring one another is in contrast to preferring ourselves. We should be more concerned with the well-being of others over our own well-being.

      We can love someone we do not like and if you think you cannot, you are trying to work in your own strength and not in God’s strength for you.

      The Apostle Paul gives us a good example of those who may have a difficult time loving and honoring others.  How would you like to be a servant of someone who is not so nice? Or even a servant of a believer who is not likeable at all? Here is what Paul tells us.

      1Ti 6:1-2  Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

      Love is not just a feeling towards others, it is first and foremost what you have received yourself from God! (Ro 5:8)

      It is knowing, believing by faith that we are secure, loved and accepted in the Beloved that allows us to confirm our love of God in our being kindly affectioned towards others, who may have caused us great grief or are enemies, or…we simply do not like them.

      2Co 2:8  Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

      We confirm our love toward God when we are obedient in His will and loving one another.

      Rom 15:2  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

      Rom 15:3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

      God loved us, His enemies, while we were still sinners and yet He gave up His life for us to live eternally in Him. We should love our enemies and it is very hard to do if you do not know who you are in Christ.

      Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

      In conclusion, when you are unsure if you are really loving others, it may be because you may not have understood the love of GOD to YOU.

      You may not understand that Christ LIVES in you and the life that you live now is by the faith of the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you.

      Our GREATEST example of love is God loving His enemies so much so that He willingly humbled Himself, suffered, and died in order to freely provide His enemies what they needed most. Love is seeking another’s good at the expense of one’s own self. (Romans 5:8)

      When you are not sure you are really loving others it is because you are not seeking their good at the expense of yourself, friend or enemy.

      Think on these things. We love others based on God’s faithful love for us in Christ

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