Love for the Brethren
"And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" Romans 10:15a
Do you treat ALL your brethren equally and with respect?
Do you esteem yourself below ALL your brethren?
Paul said “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8) Can you imagine how it would be today if we all looked at ourselves as Paul did? “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in LOVE. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2,3)
“But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of EVERY part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16) So if I do or say something that hurts Sis. So-&-So I would say that’s self mutilation as we are one whole body that’s jointly fit together. I know we’ve all heard that verse time and time again, but stop and really think about it. We’re all ONE body so why do we fuss and fight so?
I do not see a lot of the Word being spoken in love today between the brethren. All I see the people of God doing is bickering, backbiting, and fighting over the smallest of things when we all should be doing what Paul said above. How can we receive more of the revelation of JESUS and His Work when He sees us acting this way towards one another? How can we see what the “fellowship of the mystery” is which is hidden in God when we’re all behaving this way towards one another? God sees us not showing love towards one another when He IS love so how can we say we’re His? And I do not mean by just saying “I love you” but by the ACTION of love. I don’t think the ACTION of love is ripping someone’s head off with the sword of the Word. A person can quote the Word to someone showing no love at all intending to hurt a person when they should be quoting the Word to edify and make whole. There is a difference.
And my mind returns to this: Why gossip about Sis. So-&-So’s hair or dress length? Does that do Sis. So-&-So any good at all? Ohh but wait, it does do the flesh good because it makes it feel as if it’s HOLIER than Sis So-&-So’s flesh. When in reality, there is NO flesh that can please God. I don’t care if you have to drag your hair around in a wheel barrel, if you have a holier-than-thou spirit, that hair does not make you holier or any better than Sis. So-&-So who has just came into God and her hair isn’t as long.
I can’t believe how many discussions there are on holiness. Why aren’t there just as many on the “Fellowship of the Mystery”. The mystery Paul talks about in Ephesians. That’s what we all should be seeking God for the revealing and understanding of.
I bring standards into this article because it seems this is where a lot of people in God hurt others that are new in God. I’m going to say a few more things about standards so I’m not misunderstood…I don’t want people thinking I don’t believe in a standard of holiness. I know there is a true standard of holiness. But I believe a person’s standard of holiness should come from God convicting his/her heart; not what man tells him/her to do or not to do. The closer a person gets to God, the more that person will change for the better. They have no need of a man to tell them what to wear, what not to wear, what to do, and what not to do. The Holy Ghost will convict that person and it will be a joy for that person to do those things out of LOVE. There is a difference between having and maintaining a standard of holiness out of LOVE versus doing it because man tells us to do it. If it’s done because of the latter, that person will eventually get fed up with it, it becomes a “weight”, and it won’t be a joy to them and they eventually stop all together.
I saw one man who had the outward standard of holiness DOWN. I mean down to a tee. And come to find out this man had molested a child and castrated him. Now this man is serving time in jail. It seems to me the ones who always harp and harp on standards and think they are holier than everyone else, are the ones that I’ve seen turn out to be evil in some way. They can try and cover up the outside all they want; but, what’s on the inside will eventually come out and will show what’s truly inside.
Years ago, during a revival at a church, this one elderly woman came up to me when I was 19 and told me a few things. I will never forget. She looked at me with mean eyes and said “Girl, you better stop putting that crinkler in your hair. That’ll keep you from getting the Holy Ghost and will put you in hell.” Well little did Sis. So-&-So know, I had had the Holy Ghost since I was 15 and the so-called “crinkler” she was referring to was my naturally curly hair! If God gave me naturally curly hair, I don’t believe He’d put me in hell for it! The mean spiritedness of some people still stuns me. God knows their hearts is all I can say. All I know is I’m trying to show a meek and kind spirit to all no matter if they’re in God or not and I hope you are too!
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is GOOD to the use of EDIFYING, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) Have you had any corrupt communication coming out of your mouth? Have you said anything to someone close to you, a loved one, a brother or sister in the Lord that would edify rather than tear down or hurt them? We all know edify means to instruct or benefit morally or spiritually, to uplift. I sometimes wonder if the body of Christ has forgotten what that word means.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another.” (John 13:34,35) JESUS gave His life for us. That is true love. Are you willing to give your life for your brethren? We have to be willing to give our life for our brethren or we’re not JESUS’ disciples. People in the world see bickering and fighting going on between the people in God and they don’t want anything to do with God because of it. I know we're no where near this point yet but humor me for a moment... If a person in the world sees a person in God give their life for another brother or sister, do you think that would have an affect? In my opinion, it definitely would. They’d say, hey, now there’s something there that's real for a person to freely give up their life for another.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22) Peter said we should love one another fervently. Do you love your brethren fervently?? Fervently means having or showing great warmth. Do you show great warmth to your brethren? I know there are times where the devil has boxed my ears, and I’m not in the greatest of moods, and I have to force myself to show a right spirit to whoever is around. How about you?
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31,32). How kind and tenderhearted am I? How kind and tenderhearted are you?
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with ALL the fulness of God”
The only way we’ll all be able to understand the breadth, and length, and depth and height is for us all to be rooted and grounded in love. And I’m not talking about this “sensual” love the world knows, but TRUE LOVE which IS GOD!
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:1-5)
I ask you pray for me, as I will for you, that we all strive to be in one accord and in one mind showing love always to everyone and that we truly grasp we are one body jointly fit together!