LOVE GOD AND YOUR BROTHER
1 John 4:21
This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother. (WEB)
As a father of three grown children, the greatest desire that I have for my kids is that they would love each other. As they have all matured into wonderful adults, their appreciation and love for one another has grown as well. No longer do they sit at the supper table teasing each other. It is so heart warming as a father to see his children encouraging and enjoying each other's company.
Since healthy parenting and family models were derived from God Himself (Ephesians 3:14-15), I don't think it is too much of a stretch to assume that our Heavenly Father must feel the same way when He sees His kids from different denominations and cultures getting along together.
In today's Scripture Reading, the Apostle John tells us that it should be automatic to love each other if we indeed love God. However, in the fallen world system that we live in, this is not as automatic as it should be. Unfortunately the orphan world system and our own insecurities cause us to often feel threatened by those who do not believe like we do.
When I refer to our differences in believing, I am NOT referring to things that would take us away from the central message of Jesus being the only way to the Father. I am referring to things like doctrinal preferences, styles of worship, etc. While I do believe that we are all called to be unique in our expression of the life of God that is in us, we are not called to judge those who are different.
My prayer today is simply that we would all grow in our love for each other and appreciate that we have the same Lord and Father. May we all be aware of the effect it has on our Father's heart when we truly fulfill the New Covenant commandment that Jesus told His disciples at the last supper when He shared the following words...
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (WEB)