Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Love each other

Continuing in 1 Thessalonians 5 we find these verses:
14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
Yesterday we learned that we are to respect and love those who lead and teach us within the church. And we are love each other.

Today Paul expands a bit on that theme. What does it mean to love each other?
  • admonish the idle
  • encourage the fainthearted
  • help the weak
  • be patient with all
  • see that no one repays evil for evil
  • seek to do good to everyone
  • rejoice always
  • pray without ceasing
  • give thanks in ALL circumstances
  • do not quench the Spirit
  • do not despise prophecies ... but test what is good.
  • hold fast to what is good
  • abstain from every form of evil
That's quite the list isn't it?
And I have to say, it makes sense doesn't it? That loving our leaders and loving our fellow-believers encompasses all these things.

I could admittedly probably talk about each of these things forever. Because there's lots to be said about them all. But that would never get me out of 1 Thessalonians, so how's that for laziness today. :)

But love overall is not easy. It takes effort. Just think about it.... love means admonishment and encouragement. It means being patient. It means not shrugging things off. It means working at knowing what is good and holding on to it. It means standing in the way of someone who wants to get revenge, and standing in the way of yourself when you want to do stuff you aught not. It means listening to the Spirit of God within ourselves. This is not for the lazy! It's work, real work.

But then again recall that love is not a feeling, it's an act of the will.

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