It has been on my heart recently to talk a little about love. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays can be particularly challenging for a lot of people. 1John 4:20 tells us “If someone says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar: for the one who does not love, agapao, his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” Agapao love is demonstrated by being full of good will towards, to have preference for, to wish well to, and regard the welfare of. Everyone who born again of God’s spirit is a brother or a sister.
Jesus said in Mt.12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.” Jesus is my brother and hopefully yours too. A father can be a brother as well as a mother and a sister!
One may not think they actually hate someone else but the absence of love as described above is hate. Love is something that must be proved day in and day out, not something to be assumed. We must reach out to those we love and we must, in particular, love our brothers in Christ. To fail to do so makes us liars, when we say we love God.
Galatians 6:10 tells us, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The words I want to emphasize here are “while we have opportunity.” The day will come when that opportunity will no longer be available: they will be dead or we will be. I was fishing the other day with a 38 year old man who lost his father when he was 51…….He expressed to me how he wished he had taken more advantage of him when he was alive.
Let’s not take for granted the lives of our earthly and spiritual families this holiday season or any other and reach out to them, demonstrating the love we have for them and the love we have for God. Tomorrow may be too late.