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Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

A Command to Love

1 John 4:21

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And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 John 4:21 NIV

As followers of the Lord Jesus, there are not many things we are commanded to do. We are to love the Lord our God with all that we are. And we are commanded to love our neighbors, especially fellow believers, as ourselves. If we obey these two commands, we can have confidence in our relationship with God.

But we sometimes seem to believe that the second of these is optional. Yes, ideally, I should love everyone. But some of them have hurt or offended me. Or they are just difficult to love. And, while we may not be in open conflict with them, we are content to maintain our distance and have as little to do with them as possible.

But John tells us in no uncertain terms that loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is not optional. It is a command. Something that we must do. And he goes so far as to tell us that if we do not love our brothers and sisters around us, then we cannot love God (1 John 4:20). That should get our attention.

Choosing not to act in love toward my brother or sister, and yes, it is a choice, no matter how hard it might be, is disobedience. It is a sin. And how can I claim to love God when I am not willing to obey him?

Acting in love towards all of those within my local community of believers is not optional. It is a command. That does not necessarily make it easy. It may actually be very difficult. But it is what we are expected to do. We should never be content or satisfied with anything less than complete obedience. Love one another!

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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