LOVE ONE ANOTHER
BY: RUSSELL MCLAUGHLIN
“7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
I John 4:7-8
How Love is Developed
There are many ways by which love can be developed. First, there is forgiveness. God forgave us because he loved us (John 3:16). We must forgive others for the same reason. Love grows in the heart of one who forgives. He who cannot forgive has not learned to love.
Next, love can be developed through service (Romans 15:1-2). Christianity requires ministering to the needs of others. Jesus said, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28) Service drives selfishness from the heart. Where selfishness abounds, love does not. Finally, we develop love by imitating Christ. Following Jesus expands our capacity to love (I Peter 2:21). The longer Paul followed Christ, the more he loved him. The same approach will work for us.
A Christ like love is a love that seeks the highest good of another. It is an unconditional, sacrificial love. A love that keeps on loving even when the other becomes unlovable. Let us imitate His love (John 13:34-35).
The Strength of Love
Fear is one of the greatest enemies of humanity. It cannot be conquered by physical strength or violence. The only antidote for fear is love. One of the greatest, most powerful passages in all the Bible is I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” The passage affirms that (1) there is no fear in love; (2) perfect love casts out fear; (3) fear brings punishment and torment, and (4) the fearful are not made perfect in Love. We need not fear the experience of life or death when we walk with the Lord. David said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod, and your staff they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4)
The doctrine of Divine love permeates the Bible. From Eden to the present, the love of God has never been withdrawn. “I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn you.” (Jer. 31:3)
The love that is descending (John 3:16), ascending (Matthew 22:37) and outgoing (I John 3:11) will sustain us through every trial until we stand before Christ in Judgment. It will be because we have loved him, and served him, and loved one another that he will say, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:23)
Let us do everything in Love (I Corinthians 16:14).