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Archive for the ‘The One Anothers: A Devotional Series’ Category

 

Romans 15:7

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

This passage does NOT say to judge one another. But, that is exactly what we do. We use our Christianity to put ourselves on a pedestal and we judge everyone below us. Why do we do that? Jesus NEVER judged anyone! Jesus was compassionate, merciful and humble. He never put Himself above anyone else. He even said that He was not sent to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Jesus had every right to put Himself on a pedestal. He IS the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! But, Jesus was not like that.

We, as Christians, need to reread the Gospels and really let the characteristics of Christ sink into our hearts. We need to embody Christ. We need to be more accepting of those that are different than we are. We need to be more accepting of those with different opinions and not assume they are wrong because we might not agree. Do we think that God loves one of us more than another? Well, God does NOT have favorites (Romans 2:11). God loves the homeless as much as He loves the millionaire. He loves the drug addict as much as He loves the pure in heart. We ALL have imperfections. We ALL mess up. We ALL have made HUGE mistakes at one time or another. We have ALL lived in sin. None of us has any reason to condemn or judge anyone else.

My challenge to you (and myself!) is to go back and reread the Gospels and write down in a notebook the characteristics of Jesus. Then we need to make an conscious effort to embody those characteristics on a daily basis. Live like Jesus. Don’t expect everyone to serve you. Go out and serve others. If the King of Kings was humble enough to wash the disciples feet, we should be too.

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1 Corinthians 1:10

10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

The Church of America is divided. We have separated ourselves into our man-made denominations and pick which parts of scripture we feel fits our personal doctrines. We find denominations competing against each other and fighting over which one is “right.” Inside the local church, we find cliques being formed based on social status or demographics. Unfortunately, there is always the group of “undesirables” that get left out. In my experience, it has been those “undesirables” that have the closest relationship with God. We bicker, argue and judge to the point of driving people away. Many people are now saying that non-Christians are more accepting and loving than Christians. Non-Christians stand back and watch us fight among ourselves and they are glad that they are on the outside. A house divided can not stand.

Mark 3:25

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

We SHOULD be united in the scriptures. We SHOULD be united in obedience to the Holy Spirit. We SHOULD be united in Jesus Christ. We serve ONE God and ONE resurrected Savior. There is only ONE Bible. We should NOT be divided. We SHOULD be united as Sisters and Brothers in Christ. We SHOULD be loving each other. We SHOULD be supporting each other. We need to stop the fighting and come together as the family of Christ. We ARE family! We have been adopted as children of God (Ephesians 1:5, Romans 8:14-17). We need to become that united Body of Christ that stands together in mind and thought. Let us glorify our God by taking a unified stand against Satan and those who are sitting back and waiting for the Church of America to implode. Jesus sacrificed His life for US. Don’t we owe it to Him to get our acts together and present a unified front?

 

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one-another

 

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Ephesians 6:18

 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Matthew 5:44

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

 

The Bible makes it clear that we need to pray. The above verses highlight four groups of people that we need to pray for:

In James 5:16, James tells us to confess our sins to each other and to pray for each other. I believe he was telling us to pray for our local body of Christians here. Those Believers that we are in contact with on a regular basis. Those followers of Jesus that we share life with. We are to pray for those we serve God with on a regular basis. It is the local body of believers that gives us our strength as a Christian. We need to be in continual prayer for those in our local faith community as we face trials, temptations, and the schemes of the evil one. Healing comes when we confess our sins to each other and pray for each other.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we are told to pray for ALL people. We are also, told specifically to pray for kings and all those in authority. The Bible makes it clear that we are to pray for those placed in leadership positions. We are to pray for our leaders, so we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. The Bible makes it clear that we are to pray for ALL people. It doesn’t matter if we like them or not. It doesn’t matter if we agree with everything they believe. We are to pray for ALL people. God wants us to pray for ALL people, because He wants ALL people to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

Ephesians 6:18 tells us to be alert and to keep on praying for ALL the Lord’s people. James 5:16 tells us to pray for our local body of believers, but in Ephesians 6:18 we are told to pray for ALL the Lord’s people. We are to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are faced with persecution and other challenges. We are only strong when we pray for one another.

Matthew 5:44 tells us to pray for those who persecute us. It is never easy to pray for someone who has set out to make your life a living Hell. Why should we pray for someone who has caused us pain? God says we must. God can soften the hearts of our enemies through our prayers, but more importantly, He is allowed access to OUR hearts when we choose to pray for those who hurt us.

I think God has made it clear that there isn’t any person or group of people that we shouldn’t be praying for. We are to pray for One Another.

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one-another

 

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 Thessalonians 4:9

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you,for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

John 15:17

17 This is my command: Love each other.

Romans 12:10

10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Romans 13:8

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

1 Peter 1:22

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 John 4:7-12

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

I think God has made it pretty clear that we are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. But, what exactly, is LOVE?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The above verses tell us exactly what love is and what love is not. Scripture tells us to love one another and gives us the definition of what love is. I just want to add one thing: as you go about your lives, open your heart for the opportunities to show someone compassion, mercy, and kindness. Whatever the situation, it is always better to treat the other person with love. If we really want to be an example of God to the world, then we have to treat EVERYONE with love. Why? Because GOD IS LOVE! If we act selflessly, putting the needs of others above ourselves then we can show the world that love can conquer all.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Can we find it in our hearts to love each other without prejudice and judgement? Can we share life without hate pouring into our relationships? Can we give up our “rights” to something for the benefit of others? Can we “be love” to those we do life with?

I know that loving others isn’t always easy, but it is what Jesus commands His disciples to do. I don’t always treat others with love. I may never get it completely right, because I am human, but I try and God knows my heart. In these times of chaos and change, make it your mission to love one another.

“Abide in me, Lord. Fill me with your love, so that I may love everyone I come in contact with. I want them to see less of me and more of you. You, Holy Father, are love. Fill me to overflowing with your love. This is my prayer. Amen”

 

 

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