FOUNDATION IN LOVING OTHERS

Love, it is such a beautiful and perfect thing as it was intended to be by God. Scripture has made this clear throughout its pages, as love is central to God’s character and central to the lives that He desires for us to live. Scripture reveals God’s desire for each one of us to love Him and to love others in ways that glorify Him. To do so, we must have a biblical foundational of faith in God through Jesus Christ. We can then gain understanding of what true love is, along with the humility to perceive where we fall short. We must repent of our selfishness and actively pursue true love if we desire to live God-honoring lives.  Realization of my inability to love as I should, in conjunction with the rest of the world’s inability to love, has provoked a great desire within my heart for us to better understand, believe and exercise love to its fullest in word and in deed (Col 3:17). The realization of our selfishness is painful and can often seem overwhelming. When that realization is followed with repentance, only then can the appropriate response become possible on our part, and that glorifies God and often leads us to greater joy.  Knowing that God Himself has loved each one us so much and would affect change within our hearts by revealing our sinfulness to us, (Heb 12:5-6) should lead us to greater love and intimacy with Him.

It has been extremely difficult for the human race to perceive the depth of God’s love that He has for all of His creation. The entrance of sin into the world through Adam and Eve and into our lives has negatively impacted how we view truth and how we view God. Ecclesiastes 8:16-17, Ephesians 1:18 and Hebrews 11:3 all give insight into this and we are called to seek and ask God for wisdom as James 1:5 tells us. Our perception of truth, and that, which is good, is viewed through a distorted lens because of sin (Heb 3:13, Eph 4:22). Our distorted perception has negatively affected our relationship with God since Adam and Eve. God, knowing that this would take place, prepared the way for mankind to come into perfect communion with Him. He did so by sending His own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins by being murdered on a cross as the perfect and necessary sacrifice for those who would believe in Him, their need for forgiveness and repent of their sins, as 1 Peter 2:24 and Mark 1:15 reveal.  The perfect communion I just spoke of will not take place until the believer enters eternity, but salvation by Christ’s death is the necessary means for that to take place. Does this sound like love to you? Do you question why God did it this way? Couldn’t He have thought of a better and less violent way that makes more sense to us? God has limited our perception of these things (Isaiah 55:8, Prov 3:5) and God saw this as the perfect means to let a dirty person like me into heaven without polluting it. Do you truly see yourself in the way that you are apart from Jesus Christ? Genesis 6:5-8 – Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. – Jeremiah 17:9“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;
 who can know it?Isaiah 64:6 – But we are all like an unclean thing,
 and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
 we all fade as a leaf,
 and our iniquities, like the wind,
 have taken us away. – Until we believe the depth of our own wickedness as the scriptures state, and that we deserve nothing more than hell apart from Christ, we should question our core beliefs and if they are truly in line with God’s word. In 2 Cor 13:5, the Apostle Paul tells us to examine our hearts to make sure we are of the faith. The majority of what Paul speaks of relates to our core understanding and belief of the necessity of the sacrifice. I realize that what I have just said sounds severe and you may ask why I would mention it in a study about loving others. We must have this foundational belief alive within ourselves before we can love others in the ways, which we are called to. To answer the previous question regarding the necessity of Christ’s death, would it be easier for you to understand and agree with if you had to risk your own life to save a loved one from certain death? God saw certain eternal death and damnation in the futures of the people whom He loved, so He made the perfect sacrifice for those willing to believe and repent of their sinfulness. He did this because of His immense love and desire for an eternal relationship with them. As I have indicated, our perception is finite in relation to God’s ways, which are infinite, and we should be assured that everything about God is perfect (Psalm 18:30) and holy (Revelation 4:8). Living in this fallen world has prevented us from participating in perfect communion with God and has distorted any perfect perception of God that we can have on this earth. Although difficult to fully perceive, God not only allowed, but He purposed that Satan and his angels would fall from heaven (Rev 12:7-12), in-turn, leading to sin’s introduction into the world and the fall of mankind. Although another study in itself, the statement I have made of God purposing Satan’s fall could sound tyrannical on God’s part, but might I add that the scriptures affirm God ordaining this (Isaiah 46:9-10, Psalm 103:19, 115:3, Lamentations 3:37, Romans 9:21) and if that were not the case, disagreement on your part reveals your support of the notion that Satan’s fall was an accident by God and that He is not in control. Something to think about is that we would never have understood God’s mercy and love for us, had He not ordained the fall, sending His Son into this world to save mankind. God has also revealed to Satan, as well as all of humanity, the futility of rebellion against Him. We can trust that the God of the universe is always good (John 10:11, Rom 12:2) and that He is free to do as He pleases without any necessity of our approval (Psalm 115:3, 135:6, Daniel 4:35), and that love envelopes all that He does (1 John 4:8).

There are various definitions of love and we must keep in mind that as followers of Christ, we believe that God is the One who defines truth and therefore is the One who defines love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 is a biblical definition of love revealing its importance over any other gift or ability we may have: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – This is biblical love and is representative of what the Christian must seek in its entirety and is sought in vain apart from true faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:58 affirms what I have just said: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – God living in us (the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit) gives Christians the ability to love in the ways that we are called to love, as it is a work of the Lord (1 John 4:7). For us to love others in truth, we must first understand the depth of God’s love for us individually. I will refer you to  the study I wrote entitled “God’s Love For His Children”. Until the Christian understands and believes God’s deep love for them, it is not possible for them to love others as they are called to. The realization and belief regarding how much God loves you should bring you to the understanding of how much God loves others, and successively, why and how you are to love them. John 13:34-35“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Do others know that you are God’s disciple by the way that you love one another?

We can further identify and define love from the following Greek word-meanings that we often see and/or experience. The Greek words for love are agape, phileo, eros and storge. Agape love is the selfless and unconditional love that God has for us and it is the love that He calls for us to be centered on in our relationship with Him and with others.  Agape is not shown by only doing what the person being loved desires, but what the one who loves deems as necessary towards the one being loved.  Examples are Christ dying on the cross for repentant sinners and spanking your children when they are disobedient.  It is a sacrificial love for their best interest that expects nothing in return from the person whom is being loved. The trueness of your application of agape love is evidenced by your behavior towards others. Phileo is a love that is platonic, warm affections in nature and often referred to as brotherly love as it is often exhibited between close friends. Storge is the Greek word defining more of the familial love that is evidenced by affections from and towards parents, children and siblings. Eros in the Greek defines love in the romantic sense, passionate or sexual. The feelings and emotions associated with eros love reveal a type of love that focuses more upon ourselves than it does others. In and of themselves, phileo, storge and eros love can enhance agape love, but by themselves and apart from Christ, they are misused and manipulated and often fail because they do not equally compare to unconditional or agape love. Today we observe society using sex as a common thing and the love that it portrays in itself never seems to last. We see family struggles in our lives as well as in the lives of others and have all experienced friendships that have ended out of selfishness. Agape love is what we are to strive for and the only way to effectively pursue and participate in that is through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. We will continue to experience relational complications due to our sinful flesh prior to Heaven. We must actively pursue true love in the biblical sense, examining ourselves with honesty and humility, realizing where we fall short in loving others and continue in the pursuit of righteousness. The Holy Spirit within us leads us to repentance and towards unconditional love.  In your representation of love, do you set unfair expectations upon others?  Do your expectations give any leniency towards the fallen nature of man? Be careful in your analysis of what you consider a fair expectation, as others may be placing their own expectations upon you.  As Dr. Larry Crabb mentions in his book, Inside Out, “We can recognize our demanding dependence on people, our sinful insistence that others do for us what they cannot do (a form of idolatry). When we learn to accept people who disappoint us by no longer requiring them to satisfy us, then we’re free to love them, to reach toward them for their sake without having to protect ourselves from feeling disappointed by their response to us.” We must focus our reliance totally upon Christ and not place so much of our hope for fulfillment upon others. People will fall short (Rom 3:23) of our expectations and we must keep that in mind as it relates to the forgiveness that God has extended to us as believers. Do you remind yourself of the love that extended Itself towards you, nailed to a cross, knowing you deserve death, but have been forgiven because of God’s perfect love for you? If you do not believe that you deserve death, then you are still not convicted by what the scriptures say about your wretchedness (Rom 6:23, Ezek 18:4) and therefore, your need for Christ’s sacrifice. Heavy emphasis must be placed on the manner of true and perfect love that was offered to us by God, through Christ, indicating the importance that He places upon us to love others sacrificially. Are you able to acknowledge that everyone else is under the same affliction that you are, called sin (Rom 3:23)? If not, be aware that you are one of those afflicted, and Jesus Christ, completely aware of your sin and the temptations that you face, still continues to love you although He commands you to repent, that you may be forgiven (Matt 6:14, Luke 24:47). Will you love Him by seeking the necessary heart transformations that need to take place (Ezekiel 36:26-27)? Will you love Him by loving others in the ways that He has commanded you? Your answer to these questions reveal where your heart truly lies. 1 John 2:5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. – Now do you see why we are called to love others in such an unconditional manner? I will remind you that I too have been disobedient and sinful in my application of love. God has been longsuffering and faithful and the Holy Spirit endures with me as well as with all believers to fight for that which is good (1 Tim 1:18, 1 Tim 6:12, 2 Tim 4:7). As we love others, God is glorified in bringing joy to our hearts and to those whom we obediently love, while at the same time, Christ’s love is revealed to the world. Does it break your heart when you fail to love the way that you should? Do you seek repentance that gives way to obedience for the purpose of glorifying God? If so, good! It is evidence of your salvation by the Holy Spirit working in you. If you find yourself with an attitude of disgust towards your ex-spouse, a child molester or radical terrorist with no hope that Christ may bring about true repentance in them and you are not convicted by that, you should be concerned with where your heart truly lies. I would encourage you to confess your sin before God (1 John 1:9) and ask for a heart of love. That does not mean that you do not hate their sin, but that you would truly hope for their souls to pursue Jesus Christ. God never tells us that forgiveness and love are easy or that they come quickly, but He commands us to love and to forgive, even our enemies (Matt 5:44, Prov 25:21, Luke 23:34) and scripture affirms that we must repent and persevere in love.

1 John 4:8 – He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. – God and love are central to scripture, for God is love as the above verse references. It was God that did not need us, but chose to create us and also to love us. It was the Father that loved us so passionately and protectively that to save us from eternal damnation, He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world, who out of love and obedience to His Father, and love for us, died on a cross to become the perfect sacrifice for our sinfulness to save us from eternal death (hell).  1 John 4:8 and 1 John 2:5 are previously noted and  they correlate true knowledge and love for God with obedience. Our obedience to God in all things, including love, evidences our true faith in Christ. Living in this human shell has its own difficulties for the Christian due to the tension of sin, how the rest of the world portrays how to live versus how God calls us to live. We must not confuse the love of the world with the love of God. The Apostle Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” – In fact, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – We have a high standard to uphold, but as children of God, He places within our hearts a desire for what is good (Psalm 37:4) and also tells us to seek Him first and He will supply us with the will and the grace to honor Him as Matthew 6:33-34 and 2 Corinthians 12:9 indicate. I find how easy it is to continue in the activities of life and forget to account all things to God and it is the same for all of us. Therefore, we must have the mindset to continually account all things to God including our thoughts, hopes, words, and actions, and doing them with an attitude of love. If this becomes our desire and we become doers of the word (James 1:22), we will begin loving others with the heart that God intended for us in serving Him.

I will admit that this commentary is not one emphasizing some sort of fluffy approach to loving others due to the need for foundational truth, as well as my responsibility to God in that which I teach or affirm others in (James 3:1). God is the author of love, and Satan, who still has dominion upon the earth (2 Cor 4:4) will do everything in the power that he has been given (including offering counterfeit love) to try and tear us apart from the perfect love that we have been offered through Christ. If the enemy can take our focus off of Christ, diminishing our desire to fight for true love, there are eternal consequences that we will bare, in addition to the temporal. True love is warning others when they are in danger as James 5:20 indicates; “let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” – We must participate in admonishing others because of our love for God and our love for one another, as it should be given in their best interest. God holds us to the standard of loving others enough to share with them the truth about Jesus Christ through various means as kindness, accountability, sharing the gospel, etc.…We have all fallen short of loving others in most, if not all areas. It breaks my heart that I/we have allowed our fear, selfishness and unbelief to prevent us from loving others enough to share the gospel of Christ with them. Eternity in hell will be unbearable with no opportunity of escape. As we realize our own desperate need for Christ, we should hope even more that we would seek to lovingly share that truth with others. We are all guilty of allowing fear to keep us from loving others effectively and obediently. Are we going to love others in such a way that we will even risk being hated by them  for the sake of the gospel (Matt 10:22, John 15:18)?  1 John 4:18-19 reveals that love and fear are in opposition of each other; “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” – I am grateful for the grace that has been extended to cover my inability to love perfectly, but I desire to be transformed more and more into the man of God that will love Him and others enough to share the truth with them. We all must share in a similar attitude and actively seek becoming doers of the word (James 1:22). Romans 12:4-5 evidences the body of Christ sharing in that responsibility, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” – God already knows our strengths and weaknesses and when we are faithful in using the gifts that He has given us, He will use those gifts for the edification of the church and in bringing others to Christ. A key element within our hearts in loving others the way that we should, is to believe what the scriptures say and are we going to take the steps to be obedient to the word of God (John 14:15 and 21)? You are not the only one who may feel such an overwhelming task, but we must faithfully work against our own self-will that may be stemming from fear and unbelief. Do you seek a heart of repentance in regards to your fear and unbelief by confessing your sin, accepting His forgiveness, and asking Him for the necessary changes take place within your heart? Obedience in these matters evidences your trust and your love for God. Loving others  seems easy when we get what we want in our relationships, but often it does not happen the way we want it to and therefore we must fight to honor God in our pursuit of it. As we come to an understanding of true love from the biblical perspective, we realize there is so much more to it than we seem capable of in ability and understanding. Keep in mind, there are the things of God that have not yet been revealed to us and scripture refers to this mystery: 1 Corinthians 2:7 – But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. – Related scriptures reveal that some of the mystery has been made known to the children of God, but there are still things that God has not revealed to us and scripture is only “in part” regarding that mystery. 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 states: For we know in part and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. – We still only know in part because that which is perfect refers to heaven and we have not yet arrived. That which is perfect is not referring to our current state because even though Christ is perfect, we are not yet in that perfect state with Him. For the believer, do you realize when we leave this world and come into the presence of our Lord and Savior, that sin will disappear from us (Rev 21:27) and our perception and understanding of God and His love will be perfected in us and the mystery revealed? Such immense hope in being able to love in such a way that fulfills perfect joy in us, and is also fully pleasing to God! Until that day, we have work to do my brethren, and I pray that as the body of Christ, we will work together, relying on Him for our needs and loving each other as our Lord has called us to.  Let us pray for heart transformation and for those moments where we react obediently in love and encourage others to wonder why we react that way. May we respond in such a way that sacrificially expresses love rather than bitterness or manipulation and to express love in such a way as to share the words of eternal life with another?

 Verses Related to Loving Others

Psalm 139:13-18 – For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

Psalm 149:4 – For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.

Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.

Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Isaiah 43:4 – Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life.

Matthew 5:43-48“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 19:19“’Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-40 – Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets.”

Luke 6:35-36“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”

John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  

John 13:34-35“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:9-17“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.”

Romans 5:5 – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 12:4-5 – For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Romans 12:9-19 – Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 13:10 – Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all that you do be done with love.

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 6:10 – Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Ephesians 4:2-3 – with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Ephesians 5:21 – submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:2-4 – fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Colossians 3:12-16 – Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 – And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 – Now we exhort your, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Hebrews 12:14 – Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Hebrews 13:1-3 – Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also.

James 2:14-17 – What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

1 Peter 1:22 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

1 Peter 3:8-9 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

1 Peter 4:8-10 – And above all things have fervent love for one another for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 3:10-18 – In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4:7-11 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:18-21 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Verses Relating to Inerrancy of Scripture

Proverbs 30:5-6 – Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Galatians 2:11-12 – But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Peter 1:20-21 – knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 22:18-19 – For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

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About Birdog14

Being a native of Colorado, I have grown to enjoy many aspects of the outdoors. For much of my life my hunting, fishing, hiking Colorado's 14,000' peaks and playing hockey defined who I was. Although I can look back on life and see where God used different people and circumstances to affect the most important choice that I would make for Him one day, it was in my early 30's when I realized I had to make Him my everything. I am no longer identified by those things that I once lived for, but am identified as one of the Sons of God as Christ has lovingly and by His grace, chosen me to live for Him and to share with others the truth about His love and desire for them.
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3 Responses to FOUNDATION IN LOVING OTHERS

  1. Ria says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this post, it is exactly what has been on my heart lately. Your words have encouraged me to reevaluate myself and what I expect of others. God seems to be showing me that I need to learn a bit more about how to trust in love before He gives me someone to love. I hope you know how much I appreciate your post.

    • Birdog14 says:

      Thank you so much Ria as your words bring encouragement to me. Do not fear…all of God’s children are a work in progress as we learn to glorify Him. Although you and I both lack in our ability to love others, God continues encouraging us in that He loves us even when we don’t deserve it as the perfect example.

    • Birdog14 says:

      Ria, months after your comment, I found author Dr. Larry Crabb’s words in his book Inside Out, that I just added to my study for further clarification of biblical truth relating to love and it is as follows: “We can recognize our demanding dependence on people, our sinful insistence that others do for us what they cannot do (a form of idolatry). When we learn to accept people who disappoint us by no longer requiring them to satisfy us, then we’re free to love them, to reach toward them for their sake without having to protect ourselves from feeling disappointed by their response to us.”

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