Better Together 1: Love One Another

Better Together
As the "body of Christ,” we are connected to one another. We need each other. We are better together than we are apart!

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to love people with a sacrificial/unconditional love sometimes. What about you? Is it hard to love others (even those closest to you) with a sacrificial love?

But it’s important that we learn to love one another because …

Withholding love kills. Love gives life!

Fortunately, Scripture provides us with some great examples of loving (or not loving) one another. Today, we’re going to look at a passage that includes both a negative example and a positive one!

Read 1 John 3.11-18

Cain – negative example!
Cain is highlighted as a negative example. Someone who hated his brother so much that he brutally murdered him.

John’s words remind me of a few things Jesus said during his time on earth:

"For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8.44)

"When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you." (John 15.18)

"You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell." (Matthew 5.21-22)

Jesus – positive example!
So on the one hand we have the example of Cain. But on the other hand, we have Jesus, as the best example of someone who love others, enough to lay down his own life.

"I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. And here is how to measure it––the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends." (John 15.12-13)

Withholding love kills. Love gives life!
How can you and I live in such a way that we give life, rather than take life?

This week, don’t just tell people that you love them – show them …

  • Do something special for a spouse/family member
  • Perform an act of kindness for a stranger
  • Be kind to an "enemy"
  • Seek forgiveness of someone you’ve hurt
  • Forgive someone who’s hurt you

What would it look like this week – in our homes / schools / workplaces / neighborhoods – for us to love others with a sacrificial/self-giving love?

Withholding love kills. Love gives life!

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13.35)

How well do you show love for others? In what ways are you showing love through your actions?

How will you express love for someone this week? Who is God placing on your heart?

O God, thank you for showing us what real love is. As we experience your love in deeper and more intimate ways, help us to love our brothers and sisters in ways that please and honor you. Amen.

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