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Loving Other Christians

{Hebrews 6:10-12; NLT}
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and patience.

The central command of the Christian faith is love. Love is what sets us apart from the world and makes us beacons of light in the dark world. If we are going to be lights in the world we need to love.

In this passage we notice the writer of Hebrews encourages his readers to love their fellow Christians. It is through this love, he says, that we demonstrate our love for God. I find it very interesting that he states that we are to care for other Christians. After all shouldn't we love everyone equally?

This is a valid question because we have been told that God loves everyone. I have no doubt that God loves everyone and He desires them all to be saved. The Bible tells us this much. The Bible is also very clear that we are to love other Christians first and foremost. Is this a contradiction?

Perhaps we should take a look at our lives. A teacher can love all the kids in her classroom, but the love she has for them pales in comparison to the love she has for her own children. A guy can love all his friends and buddies, but that love is nothing compared to the love he has for his wife. The fact that God loves the Church differently, and expects us to love other Christians differently, doesn't mean that God doesn't love the rest of the world, but simply points out the special relationship that the Church has with God.

Remember that Jesus didn't die for just a person, but Jesus died for a people. Jesus died for the Church, and that makes us very special to Him. We are God's Children and the Bride of Christ and both of these images remind us that we have a very special relationship with Him.

This might seem unfair, but in reality when Christ Followers love other Christians first it makes the Church a very attractive group to be a part of. The world is a hard place filled with rejection and heartache. So many people are searching for a place to belong and place to be loved no matter who they are or what they have done. By loving each other, rather than bickering and fighting with each other, we become a place of hope in a land of hopelessness.

It also appears from this passage that by loving each other we grow spiritually. The best way we grow in our faith is not through a study or listening to a sermon series, but it is through experience and community. When we are able to do things with other Christians because we enjoy their company and have their best interest at heart we begin to develop the heart of God. We desire the things God desires and we become spiritually sharp and full of passion.

It is by having this heart of God beating in our chests which helps us down the road of becoming the people God created us to be. When we care about the things He cares about we become a little more like Him. The people of faith of old were set apart because they had this heart. They were willing to sacrifice in order to do what God wanted them to do, because they wanted the same thing God wanted.

In our quest to become more like the people God wants us to be we have to start loving other people, first other Christians, and then the people around us. This is how we learn what is most important to God and allow that truth to become part of our hearts.


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