"Love One Another"           

John 13:34


     Love is a debt we owe to one another, a debt which believers always enjoy paying. Love is not just a sentimental emotion, or a passion. It is an affection of the heart that is seen in the actions of life. Those who foolishly imagine that love is a nebulous rule of life, giving no specific direction to anyone, are ignorant of the Scriptures. Paul admonishes us, "Be kindly affectioned one toward another with brotherly love." And he tells us specifically what that means: "in honor preferring one another" (Rom. 12:10). Love causes men and women to prefer one another. Love prefers the comfort, well-being, and pleasure of its object to its own comfort, well-being, and pleasure. Love always defers to its object.

     LOVE IS THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE AND FAITH IN CHRIST (John 13:35; I John 3:14). All who are born of God love one another. All who have faith in Christ love Christ and his people. If I do not truly love my brethren, I am not born of God. The fruit of the Spirit, first and foremost, is love.

     LOVE IS WHAT OUR MASTER HAS TAUGHT US BY HIS OWN EXAMPLE (John 13:12-15; I John 3:16-17). What does love do? How can love be defined? Love serves. Our Lord Jesus washed his disciples' feet because they needed washing, because it was comforting and refreshing to them to have their feet washed. He served their needs because he loved them. Love sacrifices. The Son of God laid down his life for us, because he loved us. And if we love one another, we will both serve and make sacrifice for one another.

     LOVE IS THE LAW THAT GOVERNS CHRIST'S KINDGOM (John 13:34;15:12,17; I John 3:23). Our relationship to one another in the body of Christ obliges us to love one another. We are fellowcitizens, members of one another, members of one family, a brotherhood of believers. The church of God is a fraternity of love. I give you no law, no rule of life, no commandment but this - "Love the brotherhood (I Pet. 2:17). If we love one another, we will do right by one another. God rules the world by law, because the world is full of rebels and rebels must have law (I Tim. 1:9). But God rules his own house by love. He makes no other requirement of his children. This is our Master's commandment, may he give us grace to obey it, "LOVE ONE ANOTHER!"


Don Fortner