Joh 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Do we claim to know the one true God and obey him? He commands us, not just asks us to love the brethren. To truly love one another we must look into how how he loves and follow in His example. For being a disciple and the proof of God truly dwelling in us through his Holy Spirit, is evinced by the love we have for each other.
Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1Jn 4:7-13 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
What is the godly kind of love he calls us to? As John 14:12-14 above states “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ” Do we do this? Is it a bother to give up our time to others? Is our schedule too busy to carve out time for a letter, phone call, to encourage, comfort, help others in the body of Christ? One hinderance to loving is that we don’t know those we call our brethren. One morning for two hours a week doesn’t cut it. People can’t get to know the needs of others by looking at the back of their head, sitting in pews one day a week.
1Th 5:11-15 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
The apostle Paul reminds us that we should know those that are in the body. Or else how can you be aware of someone’s needs, lack in finances, sin creeping into their lives. Love helps someone up when they sin or stumble; but if you know not the person and live totally separate existences six days a week, you can’t really know them enough to say, “hey brother, I see a problem here and I am concerned you are not following the Lord in this area of your life”
Jas 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
We can say we love someone, for the words flow easily from our lips, but do we back up those words with deeds. Words can mean nothing, but action proves everything, even the proof of the very life of Christ dwelling in us.
1Jn 3:14-19 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
Our love for each other should not half-hearted also, but fervent (1Pet 4:8), without pretense, without hypocrisy(which is only the words flowing from out lips without action). Seeking not our own but the good of the other person.
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Rom 12:9-10 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
To be fervent means to be ardent, zealous, devoted, eager, and vehement. There is no room for complacency in our love for one another. For if we desire to love like this, just as He did, laying down our whole lives for Him and the brethren, He will gladly show us how to love in the way He does and abound in it. And since it is a fruit of having the spirit Gal 5:22, we know that fruit does not develop overnight. It takes much time to take root and come to fruition. But God is faithful, and if we desire to be like Him, He will bring us to point of maturity. To that point of being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 3:12-13 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
Let us so desire to be like him, mature and not babes; so that we spur each other on daily in love until the day of our Lord Jesus’ coming to receive that beautiful and spotless bride for which he laid down his life.
Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.