Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12
“Love one another” is perhaps the most memorable of the many “one another” passages in the New Testament, which also includes forgive one another, accept one another, serve one another, and many others.
Pastor Ray Ortlund said there are many “one another’s” that cannot be found in the New Testament, like: sanctify one another, humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another, corner one another, interrupt one another, defeat one another, sacrifice one another, shame one another, judge one another, run one another’s lives, confess one another’s sins, intensify one anothers sufferings, point out one another’s failings.
Ortlund writes, “The kind of God we really believe in is revealed in how we treat one another. The lovely gospel of Jesus positions us to treat one another like royalty, and every non-gospel positions us to treat one another like dirt. But we will follow through horizontally on whatever we believe vertically.”
The early Christian thinker and writer Jerome reported that when the apostle John was very old and feeble, helpers used to carry him into the Christian meetings. The apostle would always say the same simple statement to those gathered. So much so, that his hearers got weary of him saying it all the time. They asked him, “Why do you always and only say: ‘love one another”? John replied, “Because it is the Lord’s command, and if this only is done, it is enough.”
At the Last Supper, when everything was on the line, Jesus said to his disciples: “A new command I give you: Love one another” (John 13:34). Reconciliation is only a word unless it is the love-driven mind-set of the Christian community.
PONDER: Ortlund says we should treat each other “like royalty” instead of “like dirt.” What does that look like in real life?
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Prayers of Friends
I received an email telling me that a friend of mine and her ten-year-old daughter had chosen a personal scripture verse to use as a prayer for each of their family members and “others” who they knew needed prayer. I made the cut as one of the “others” and learned that they were praying for me from Ephesians 3:14-21.
Here is my receipt acknowledging that I have received this prayer and am claiming it for myself.
Father, I am so thankful that you have led my friend and her precious daughter to kneel before you and pray for me. I acknowledge you as the Name that we claim; the name that makes us brothers and sisters.
Thank you that out of your glorious riches you are strengthening me with power in my inner being. I need strength today. Thank you that your resources are more than I can measure and your desire to give is driven by your generous love.
Thank you for choosing to dwell in my heart. I want You to feel at home with me and for me to feel at home with You.
Thank you that through the prayers of my friends I am being rooted and established in love and really getting a grip on how wide and long and high and deep Your love is.
This is almost too good to be true but I am choosing to believe that I am coming to know this Love that is much more than knowledge and that I am being filled up with you, God. I am glad that this verse says it is more than I can understand because I don’t understand. I humbly receive and gratefully believe…
Take all the glory for Yourself, Father, and may generations praise you forever and ever. This receipt acknowledges that I have received this prayer and claim the promises for myself. Amen!!!
Excerpt from Faith Through Aging Eyes by Roselyn Aronson Staples
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