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Love One Another

HomeChristianity and the BibleLove One Another

Sounds simple, right? That sounds good to me… if everybody loved everybody else, our world would be far, far better. There would be no crime. No slavery. No prostitution. No abortion. Nobody would go hungry. Nobody would take advantage of another’s generosity. There would be no need for soldiers, or courts, or lawyers, or police. There would no metal detectors at airports, or security guards at the mall.

Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. We lock doors. We put up security cameras, buy guns for protection, and organize neighborhood watch programs. Our children are rarely, if ever, left alone in public places. We don’t like the idea that our neighbors, or our relatives, might harm them, but that IS the world we live in.

Is there a solution?

Yes, and no. First, the bad news: we’re not going to change human nature. The Bible teaches that God made us in His image, and that His image in us has been marred. Distorted. Messed up. Because we’re messed up, we can’t change ourselves… or each other. There will always be a need for laws, for vigilance, and for punishment.

However: there IS good news. While we can’t fix ourselves, we can be fixed. The God-like part of us can be restored. God Himself is the only one who can do this, and the good news is that God wants to do it. God wants to fix us.

Following Jesus – what we like to call “Christianity” – is, at its core, all about saying YES to God. When we choose to trust that God actually does love us, and that doing things God’s way will be better than doing things our own way, He does something miraculous. He remakes us, from the inside out. We become new again. Not everything is fixed in that moment but, over time, the image of God in us will be restored. We become more like Him, as we were intended to be.

If you haven’t done that yet, you should stop reading and do it now. Tell God that your way isn’t working. He’s listening. Admit that your way has actually led you in the opposite direction, and that you want Him to turn your life around. He loves you, and He will make you new if you ask Him to.

But wait: there’s more! God doesn’t just want to fix me and you. He wants to fix everyone… and we can help. We can’t change the whole world, but we can make a dent. We can make a BIG dent. How?

Love one another.

Come on, you say. It can’t be that simple… can it? Well, that’s not the whole story, but it’s a really big part of it. Remember that doing things our way isn’t working, and that doing things God’s way is better. God’s way is love. We sometimes forget how powerful love is, even though anybody familiar with God’s way of doing things will recognize most of these bits from the Bible:

God is love.1 John 4:8
Love comes from God.1 John 4:7
God loves the whole world.John 3:16
Anyone who does not love does not know God.1 John 4:8
Love is greater than faith or hope.1 Corinthians 13:13
God demonstrated His love by becoming a man and dying for us.Romans 5:8
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the brotherhood (that is, other Christians).1 Peter 2:17
Love your enemies.Matthew 5:44
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.John 14:15
Perfect love casts out fear.John 4:18
Nothing can separate us from God’s love.Romans 8:39
Serve one another humbly in love.Galatians 5:13
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.1 John 3:16

As you can see, there’s a LOT in the Bible about love… and these verses aren’t written as ‘oh yeah, by the way, if it’s not too much trouble, you might consider loving people.’ No, they’re pretty much the baseline for the whole relationship between God and humanity. We’re commanded to love one God, love one another, love strangers, and love enemies… over and over again.

Let’s get back to our broken, messed-up world. We need to be fixed. Only God can fix us. Our job is to help people see that God loves them and wants to fix them. God loves them, so we should love them. They need us to love them:

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us… In this world we are like Jesus… We love because he first loved us.

That’s our job. It’s our opportunity to help make our world a better place, by helping people trust God. We can’t fix them, but He can. Show them what God is like. Love everybody, all the time, even when it’s hard. Love when you don’t feel like it. Love as if lives depend on it, because they do.

Love one anotherJohn 13:34
Love one anotherJohn 13:35
Love one anotherJohn 15:12
Love one anotherJohn 17:17
Love one anotherRomans 12:10
Love one another1 Thessalonians 3:12
Love one another1 Peter 1:22
Love one another1 John 3:11
Love one another1 John 3:23
Love one another1 John 4:7
Love one another1 John 4:11
Love one another1 John 4:12
Love one another2 John 5

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