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The Blessing of Loving Others

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1 Peter 1:22

If we responded simply out of natural impulses, we would probably be nice when people were kind to us. At other times, though, we’d likely be vengeful, angry, or hurtful.

Yet Jesus clearly teaches us to love even when those around us seem unlovable. And He lived out what He taught: Jesus Christ loved us enough to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Surely, out of gratitude for what He did and in reliance on the Lord’s strength, we—His followers—can love others (1 John 3:14).

While it’s hard to respond to unkindness with love, such godly behavior can lead to great blessing. First, God is pleased with us; this realization should bring His children joy, peace, and a sense of accomplishment. Next, believers ought to feel anticipation to see how the Lord will move in the relationship. Finally, there will be an awareness that the Holy Spirit is working from within, enabling divine love to flow through human lives yielded to Him.

John 13:35 tells of another important benefit: Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Since unconditional godly love is not the norm in our world, people will take notice when they see it demonstrated.

Treating others as we want to be treated is what builds the deep, satisfying connections all people desire. Without significant relationships, life lacks purpose and meaning no matter how many possessions or acquaintances we have. So think about the people you come in contact with throughout the week. Are you treating them the way Jesus modeled—with love?

Charles Stanley

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