Birthdays and Anniversaries:
3-1 Mauricio Ramirez
Kennedi Reames, recovering from thyroid surgery.
Marilyn Jones is not doing well. Some new developments in her brain scans… keep praying.
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, her cancer seems to be under control for the moment.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, still recovering from surgery.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Eleuterio Oviedo recovering from knee replacement surgery
Doris Coley, regular listener, also recovering from knee surgery.
Gary & Sally Nelson, Gary’s dental surgery rescheduled due to icy weather.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
David Shaffer, being treated for leukemia, bone marrow transplant.
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease, stroke.
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Condolences and Sympathy:
If you have more prayer requests, just message or text Steve and we will update!
“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17 ESV).
What is “the brotherhood”? It is the “family of believers” (NET), “God’s people” (CEV), who have become brothers and sisters in the Lord (see Philemon 1:16).
Loving the brotherhood is not an option, but a command. It is essential that we love God’s people. God loved us, and “anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). Loving God is the first and great commandment (Matthew 22:37), and love of neighbor as self is second (Matthew 22:38), upon these two depend all the law and prophets (Matthew 22:39).
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20).
Loving the brotherhood includes liking it.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:9, 10).
Our selfless love (agape), must be authentic. It leads us to hate sin (Jude 1:23), and cling to what is good (1 Peter 3:10-11). But that selfless love also includes affection, which drives us to be “devoted to one another” (NET). Instead of desiring places of honor for ourselves, we urge them for others. Instead of pushing for recognition, we push to recognize others.
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
Loving the brotherhood requires sacrifice.
God demonstrates his love for us through his sacrifice (John 3:16; Romans 5:8, 9; John 15:13). If we love God we will sacrifice (Luke 9:23, 24). If we love the brothers we will sacrifice.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16).
Love compels us to sacrifice our time (Hebrews 10:22-25), our comforts (1 John 3:17, 18; James 2:16), and our rights (Romans 14:15).
Love impels us to speak when the body of Christ is in peril. The Scriptures detail many different approaches to dealing with error (e.g., 2 John 9; Romans 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-8; 1 Timothy 5:19-20). Restoring the fallen comes with risks. Yes, we risk the anger of those in sin. We risk accusations from those without and within. But love will gladly bear that burden time and again.
Love seeks unity in truth.
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
When we are baptized into Christ, we are added to the church that he purchased (Acts 2:47; 20:28). Christ established the brotherhood. He establishes fellowship.
Our task is not to make or break the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” but to maintain it (Ephesians 4:3). This takes work. Left to our own, we might “bite and devour one another,” and like the Pac-Man game, we will consume each other (Galatians 5:15). Yet it is the power of love that directs us away from such destruction (Galatians 5:14).
Our influence in our community is tied to our unity in truth. In his prayer to the Father, Jesus asked the Father to “sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). He sent those who were sanctified in truth into the world. Their unity — based upon the unity of the Father and the Son — would determine how the world recognized them (John 17:21-23). But Jesus also prayed this very thing for you (John 17:20).
When brothers abuse and malign us, we are called to peace (Romans 12:18). We are to love those who hate us; and to those who give to us evil, we return good (Romans 12:17-21).
Truth is the foundation of love.
A man of God must not insist on his own way (1 Corinthians 13:5), but he must insist on truth. If love is the foundation of unity, truth is the foundation of love. Unity is just an illusion if it is not based upon truth.
Love the brotherhood by cherishing it, sacrificing for it, and being united in it in truth.
Lee Parish, link to original article