Sound advice: Love one another

1 Peter 3_8

The Verse of the Day for September 13, 2016 offers sound advice which should be applied every day for those who want to please God with their behavior:

1 Peter 3:8 (Message Bible):

[Suffering for Doing Good] Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; but he turns his back on those who do evil things.

The message that God delivers comes forth clearly and simply expressed in the King James Version:

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Since the expression “be pitiful” generally has negative connotations in contemporary times, perhaps the verse is better understood in another version, such as the Amplified Bible:

Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).

The Verse of the Day brings to mind one of the seven principles that can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.” During July a series of blog entries discussed how each of those principles can be applied in the area of race relations, a current area of critical importance. Based on a phrase that was used as the theme of a life-changing conference attended three years ago, “It’s all about relationships,” the blog posts began by focusing on the expression “Love one another.” Here is an excerpt from that series:

Love one another:

Love, indeed, is the very first principle of all relationships, the foundation stone expressed in the first and great commandment: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. On these two hang all the law and the prophets,” said Jesus Christ.

As the essential element of life, Jesus Christ is the model, the standard of love who responds to a question regarding the greatest commandment:

Matthew 13:37-39

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Jesus Christ reminded his followers to demonstrate their love for one another:

John 13:34-35 (AMP)

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

1 Thessalonians 4:9 (AMP) sums up the matter:

Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).

As believers, we endeavor to please God and follow the Word that He speaks. Each day we must

Decide to demonstrate, freely give and practice love:

The first thread whereby we must launch all relationships

And follow Christ’s command that we love one another.

“Love one another.”

This poem summarizes the heart of the matter:

“It’s All about Relationships”

God floods the eyes of our hearts with light that we might know,

As we discover new depths of our relationships

While we mature, applying the Word that we might grow.

We recognize that “It’s all about relationships.”

Enlightened, we now no longer walk in ignorance,

Being much more aware of vital spiritual matters,

We experience victory, healing and deliverance.

The anointed Word of God breaks all yokes and shatters

Barriers that hinder fellowship with God and others.

When the enemy raises his head, we fight to maintain

Relationships with God and with sisters and brothers,

Returning to “His image” the source that will sustain.

Whether with God, family, friends, co-workers, husband or wife,

“It’s all about relationships,” the foundation of life.

Michael W. Smith offers comments and a spirited rendition of  “Love One Another.”

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