LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Date: October 13
Category: Faith Expressed Through Actions
1 Corinthians 7:19b
"But [what counts is] keeping the commandments of God."
This verse says that the most important thing for a Christian is not the external expression of religion, but faith activated by love. In Galatians 5:6 we read, "For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love." The only way that faith works is when there is love to follow. That's why Paul says here in 1 Corinthians 7:19b that obedience to God's commandments is what really counts.
But what are the commandments of God? Well in John 13:34-35 it says, "I give you a new commandment; that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep showing love among yourselves]." That's what Jesus commanded to His disciples. So, we as believers should show one another the same kind of love that Jesus showed to us. He is the standard of love that we are to show to one another. So if you are wondering how you should love others, just ask yourself, "How does Jesus love me?" Then use that as the standard to loving your brothers and sisters in Christ.
So in Galatians 5:6 we can see that faith is really activated and expressed through love. In 1 Corinthians 7:19b we can see that what counts is keeping the commandments of God. Then in John 13:34-35, we can see that that love should be directed towards one another. So the commandment of love is the key commandment. When you love others, you have to love them in accordance to the standard of love that Jesus gives to you. But also, you have to show them love in a way that they will accept it.
For example, a husband cannot say to his wife, "You should know by now that I love you!" A wife needs to hear those words everyday, and she needs to see the expression of it everyday. It's the same way with a husband. A husband needs to see signs of love from his wife everyday as well – expressions that will indicate to him that she would do anything to please him. Also, parents and children need to show expressions of love to one another everyday as well. Believers in Christ need to show love towards one another, but in a way that the other person would understand and accept it as such.
Jesus says in John 13:35, "By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep showing love among yourselves]." That is the identification mark of true believers. That's how the world will know that God is present within their lives. When you and I express (agape) love according to the standard of Jesus, then other people, who are not believers, will know that we belong to Christ. They will know this because they will see us a community who loves one another.
So every morning that you wake up, you should say, "How can I express love to someone today? How can I be a channel through whom God will express His love for others?" When you make that your prayer every morning, God will show you how you can be a blessing to others. This is so important because that's how others will see your faith and know that you are a true believer. Your faith will be inactivate and useless if it doesn't find its expression in love. In James 2:17 it says, "So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead)." In other words, faith without works is dead. So let us make our faith alive today and let us show love towards other people, especially towards other believers in Christ.