“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
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. 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. John 13:34-35 AMP
Jesus gave us – His children; His disciples – a commandment to love one another. Love is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. The unselfish love we continue to show each other is what tells the world that we are not like they are; that we are like Jesus; that we are His disciples.
But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another. 10 And indeed you already are [extending and displaying your love] to all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we beseech and earnestly exhort you, brethren, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, 11 To make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you, 12 So that you may bear yourselves becomingly and be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being dependent on nobody [self-supporting] and having need of nothing.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 AMP
Love is not love until you DO something. We must extend and display our love for one another, living together quietly and peacefully. Believers need to take care of each other so that none of us are dependant on the world for anything. We must be a blessing to one another. We need to be able to get help from each other when we need it, without taking advantage of each other. We also need to care for one another without poking our nose into each other’s business. We need to mind our own business first, making sure that we faithfully attend to our own responsibilities, and making sure that we have a right attitude at all times. When we bear ourselves becomingly and when we carry ourselves correctly and honorably, we will command the respect of the outside world.
I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, 2 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. 3 Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 AMP
Paul begs us to lead a life worthy of the divine calling to which we have been called. He encourages us to behave in a way that is a credit both to God and to the call of God on our lives. If we want to serve God and we say we are serving Him, then there are requirements we must fulfill. The way we conduct ourselves tells the story – it testifies as to whether we are serving God or ourselves. God asks us to humble ourselves and be meek and patient with each other, to bear with each other and to make allowances because we love each other. This does not just come naturally, without the influence of the Spirit of God, but it is something we must cultivate and develop with His help. God expects us to submit to the Holy Spirit and to eagerly work to preserve harmony and oneness between ourselves. Peace is the result and peace is what binds us together. This peace testifies to the world that we are His.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4 NIV
Selfish ambition and vain conceit cause division and strife amongst people – even God’s people. Love and humility is the antidote. Therefore, it is so important for us, the Body of Christ, to be humble and to consider others better than ourselves. We need to be like-minded; we need to have the same love for one another; we need to be one in spirit and one in purpose. We need to not only think of ourselves and our needs, but we should care about each other and make sure that we are a blessing to one another. If we ALL do this, we will accomplish the will and purpose of God.
Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 AMP
If we, the Body of Christ, are to live together in peace and harmony, then it is essential that we all make a quality decision to personally press into God, allowing Him to have His way in our lives, and also to walk consistently in the love of God toward one another.