Brotherly Kindness and its Importance

Brotherly Kindness

Brotherly kindness is a topic that must never become stale or outdated. The bonds of kindness that exist between Christian brothers and sisters is one of the clearest testimonies that we are in fellowship with God. “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him” (1 John 2:10). “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). One of the best Biblical texts dealing with the importance of brotherly kindness is 1 John 4:7-21. In this article we’ll examine some of what this text teaches us regarding brotherly kindness.

Brotherly Kindness Shows That We Are God’s Children

First, brotherly kindness shows us that we are true children of God (1 John 4:7-8). God is the definition of love. He is the source of love. From God we learn that love is not mere sentiment but involves an act of the will. Love is a verb. God not only told us of His love, but He showed it in His divine act of love (cf. vv. 9-11). “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16, cf. John 3:16 & Rom. 5:6-8). For Christians, brotherly kindness should certainly be spoken, but what is most important is that this kindness is shown in deeds. Can we say that we are God’s children? We can if we have brotherly kindness one for another and if it is shown in our deeds.

Fellowship With God

Secondly, brotherly kindness brings us into fellowship with God (vv. 12-16). Of course, we cannot fellowship God as we do each other for God is not visible to us (v. 12, cf. John 1:18). However, when brotherly kindness abides within our hearts, then God abides in us through His Holy Spirit. It is impossible for one to say he has fellowship with God when he does not have kindness in his heart for his brothers and sisters in Christ. It is just as likely for an unloving person to be a child of God as it is for a fig tree to bear olives (cf. James 3:9-12). Just as Jesus said that the world would know that we are His disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13:34-35), so the world will know that we are not only disciples but also God’s children through our brotherly kindness.

Boldness and Confidence Before God

Finally, brotherly kindness gives us confidence in our standing before God. Many are unsure of their standing with God and face the idea of judgment with trembling uncertainty. Such need not be the case. Why? The answer is simply this. In brotherly kindness, we are as He is and as such, we are confident of our sonship. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). This knowledge that we are as He is comes from the love that we have for one another in our hearts. Those who still live in fear of judgment show that God’s love is not fully developed in their hearts (v. 18).

Brotherly Kindness Is NOT Optional

Brotherly kindness is NOT optional. Some live with self-deception. John gives a stern warning. “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21). Hate is a strong word. What is hate? It is no more, nor any less than the absence of love. For the true Christian, brotherly kindness is not optional. It is not something about which he can have a “take it or leave it” attitude.

Let us show brotherly kindness to one another! Love is of God. He is the source, definition and supreme example such. With brotherly kindness I leave “church going” behind and live as a true and authentic Christian and have bold confidence in my standing before God. Without this kindness, my “church going” and sacramental observances are nothing more than a hypocritical sham.

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What The World Needs Now Is Love

What The world needs

The year was 1965. Many today are too young to remember, but it was a time upheaval in the country. The Vietnam war was raging, but very unpopular. Other forces were at work also to create a climate of unrest and even distrust. It would seem, what the world needed was love.

Hal David, in considering many of these, wrote a song entitled “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” The world is and was in need of love. And the apostle Paul give us a very good description much going on, even today, it seems those words ring just as true. While many would have us believe love is not necessary but there is not a person who does not need love and who does not need to love others.

Thoughts on Love

The story is told about a little old man who sold small boxes made of cement which, according to his claim, contained something that could mend all family hurts and broken hearts. Some laughed claiming he a shyster; however, those who purchased one of his small cement boxes for a small price found a small piece of paper inside. On the paper was written the word: LOVE. Indeed, love is the cure for family hurts and broken hearts.

Jesus wrote: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Peter wrote, “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). These passages tell us, we must have and we must show our love.

Henry Van Dyke wrote: “Love is not getting but giving; not a wild dream of pleasure and a madness of pleasure and a madness of desire—oh, no—love is not that! It is goodness and honor, and peace and pure living–yes, love is that and is the best thing in the world, and the thing that lives the longest.”

The apostle Paul stated this about love: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13); i.e. there is nothing greater in the world than love! So, let us consider HOW Paul describes love in this chapter.

Characteristics of Love

Love is patient. Love is patient because love has a long-fuse and has the ability of self-restraint (Gal 5:23).

Love is kind. Our attitudes and actions will show kindness to others (Matt 7:12; Eph 4:32).

Love envies no one. However,love delights in the others welfare and happiness (Phil 2:4).

Love is never boastful. Real love does not contain one’s boasting of self; i.e. about one’s greatness, because love respects and regards others with high esteem (Phil 2:3).

Love is not conceited. It is love that keeps the individual from being stuck on his own importance. Why? Because love sees others as important too. When self-centered we can never please God (1 Cor 8:1-2).

Love is not rude. Rather love is gentle which is the opposite of rudeness. Love is swift to hear, slow to speak, and treats others as God commands (Jas 1:19).

Love is not selfish. Agape love is not interested in what one can get but giving what is best for others. Another way to look at this point is, one who loves does not promote his own interest (1 Cor 10:24).

More Characteristics of Love

Love is not quick to take offense. No “chips on one’s shoulder.” Not quickly angered and moved to wrath, but calmness.

Love thinks no evil. One does not keep a score of another’s wrongs nor imputes the motives of another. Love is not an arbitrary love (cf. Matt. 7:1).

Love does not gloat over the misfortunes of others. True love never gloats when hearing a wrong in another’s life; i.e. it finds no Pleasure in gossip (cf. Romans 1:32).

Love delights in the truth. Love “buys the truth and sells it not” (Proverbs 23:23), because of its value of giving freedom (John 8:32).

Love believes all things. Therefore, love accepts all of God’s truths and believes the best about others.

Love hopes all things. Love hopes all that things will go well for others, because love cares.

Love endures all things. Love can enable one to bear up under, sustains, and does not murmur. Regardless how others treat us, we will not stop loving them. In other words, love is steadfast. In New Testament times, the word “endure” described a soldier holding or keeping his ground in the worst of battle.

Conclusion

Love never fails. Consider in your personal life the number of things, which no longer remain with you because they are temporary. But Love lasts forever.

Love is the greatest. We say this about love because that is what God says, “The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:1 3). Consider loves influence for good and happiness; yet having the power to benefit self, others, and to overcome evil. However, we are commanded, “follow after love” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Celsus, who was an early critic of Christianity, said: “These Christians love each other even before they are acquainted.” This gives meaning to: “By this shall all men know you are My disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35). What the world needs now is love.