5 Ways We Love Others2
At our church, we like to say we are "Grateful People." This means we thank God in private and we thank God in public. We thank God when we have little and we thank God when we have a lot because He provides it all. Our biggest need has been met in Jesus, so we turn to Him and say "thank you."
This is why we gather together every week (Hebrews 10:23-25). We express our thanks with a warm hug and hearty handshake. We express our thanks in prayer and singing. And we express our thanks by receiving. And after we receive good gifts from God, we turn and love our neighbor. We believe we have been blessed to be a blessing.
To help you give the gift of God's love, here are five ways we love our neighbor.
1. Having been reconciled, we seek reconciliation.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
2. Having been justified, we remind others of the Gospel.
"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
3. Having been forgiven, we ask others for forgiveness.
"Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.' For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:9-15)
4. Having been baptized, we wash others with the Word.
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27)
5. Having been given all of Christ, we freely give to all.
"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, 'He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.' He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
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Jane Commenter Jul 6, 2016 @ 6:20 pm
This is such great news!! The verse that sticks out to me is this: "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Joe Commenter Jul 5, 2016 @ 5:07 pm
Thank you for this encouragement, Pastor. I am reminded of these verses: "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." (Philippians 2:1-3)