Itís not hard to say that brotherly love honors one another above yourselves, but on the other hand, how do you follow Christ if you donít deny yourself and carry the cross thatís been given to you? The world is full of selfish people that would ask how do I get my needs met? It would be different if we lived in a society where you were a king and everyone else served every need of yours. Sounds great doesnít it.
However if everyone served your needs who would serve their needs? In Heaven the rule of the land would be to serve one another, so you would serve the needs of others while they serve your needs. In heaven the outcome of serving one another is that everyone would have their needs met and by serving one another and you would be demonstrating brotherly love.
Jesus Christ was the perfect example of a servant that came to serve.
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
However to serve man he had to take off his crown, toss his royal robes to the side and become flesh. In becoming flesh he lowered himself to that of a man and dwelt among men. He was rejected by his fellow man and by those who studied the scriptures and knew the word of God. And those in charge of the synagogue insulted the grace of God and used their authority to crucify him. This was Christ's cross to bear but are you bearing your cross to serve your fellow man.
Serving your fellow man begins with humbling yourself to honor the needs that other people have. Becoming meek, learning to forgive, being kind, controlling your anger and love are all a part of becoming a person God that can use. Simply put, they are the graces that God freely extends to his children everyday. Men and women throughout the world admire each one of these qualities. On the other hand, they are qualities that allow you to serve the needs of other men through a disposition of love. The bible says,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Having a relationship with God is absolutely necessary as he works in you to produce fruit in your life essential to Christian living. To love the unloveable, the downtrodden is to consider the needs of other people and the God who loves them. Your relationship with God affects the way you think and gives you a desire to obey God, which overtime produces the fruit needed to serve your fellow man. How do you serve God if you do not love him? Godís word reveals this premise.
"If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15
Love is also a two-way Street in that love given is returned in the form of reaping what was sown. The third commandment shows the importance of a good relationship with God. Even the children of those who hate God are punished but God demonstrates his love to a thousand generations of those that love and obey him.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:5-6
The second commandment shows a different kind of love affect by how you love God.
You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
If your spouse loved another person more intimately than you, wouldnít you feel betrayed and question their loyalty. Wouldnít your feelings for them completely change in a split second? Any betrayal on the part of your spouse demolishes your love enough to completely reverse your desire to love them in the least. In a split second your love changes to hatred and like Amnon's passion that quickly turned to hatred because Tamar resented the devious methods he used to love her.
Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. 2 Samuel 13:15
The promise you made to serve God the rest of your life is similar to marriage vows, but worshipping other gods tells God that you love another god more than him and your loyalty lies elsewhere. Loving another god will put a wedge between you and God and will lead to separation as a divorce does. Divorce is the dissolving of relationship you once had and turns friends into an enemy. Divorce is often treated like treason in, which outwardly violates the trust had with your spouse and rouses a raging war with the spouse you once loved.
Hatred changes your attitude towards the welfare of another person demanding justice for your pain and suffering. Hatred gives you the desire to make others feel your pain many times over. On the other hand Love bears the pain, suffers the wrong and endures the struggle to survive with another personís help.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Christians understand Godís plan of Salvation are also acquainted with Godís plan to dwell with men. Godís plan is based on faith and you should expect to inherit eternal life and to be able to walk on the streets of gold through faith. Eternal Life gives us a hope and a future to look forward to rather than having no hope at all. Jesus has made it known that he has prepared a place for us in the next life.
The plan of salvation was initiated before time began which included Adam and Eve when sin entered the world through them. His plan became evident as he spoke to the serpent saying,
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15
When the time was right, God fulfilled his promise to send his son for the purpose of atoning for the sins of man.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Again God was concerned that man would perish and with that concern in mind he revealed that anyone who believed in his son would not perish. Man has been given a way to be reconciled to God through accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. However, Godís justice demanded that the sins of the world be severely punished and devised a plan to atone for sin that kept him separated from men.
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Samuel 14:14
God sent his son to take our place, to pay the price with his blood, to ransom our soul, to proclaim good news and give freedom to prisoners. He was sent, to recovery of sight of the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. For this reason God demonstrated a love for his creation.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
God sent Jesus Christ as the Lamb offered for the forgiveness of sin and being the perfect sacrifice God had a change of heart for anyone that chose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the atonement for their sin. At the same time Jesus ransomed mankind and set them free to serve the living God and the price he paid for you was his blood.
"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9
Every sin in the past has been put aside and forgotten by choice. Love chose to endure the pain of broken relationships in exchange for a new and deeper relationship lasting an eternity.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15
Love is a demonstration of your commitment to serve the needs of other people. This is particularly true in a personal relationship that God is seeking with you and to those who find him through the love shown to them. Love is a commitment of shared trust in any relationship, but relationships are fragile and demands love to stabilize its permanency. Actions speak louder than words. The damage that tears relationships apart seldom brings harm to the flesh and the pain goes much deeper to break the heart.
Love does no harm because love is built around the characteristics you admire the most, honesty, sincerity and truth. Good behavior warrants a return of love and bad behavior separates you from the people you want to love you. Once you lie to your partner, he or she will have a change of heart about you that affects their trust towards you. Forgiveness is the only way to rectify the relationship but even then it still takes time for the wounds to heal and restore trust.
Jesus gave mankind the golden rule to follow as an example of what love is. In its simplicity we are to do to others what we want them to do to us. Remember this practice is like the principle of what you sow is what you reap and if you sow love you get loved in return. In addition forgiveness is an expression of love that prevents those who have offended you from being yesterday's news.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Jesus Christ had these characteristics and used them to serve God. Love can not be forced on to anyone because it is as much a choice to receive as it is to give. From this point of view you can understand that even though God loves the person that wants nothing to do with him, granting him his wish still is a demonstration of his love.
In a nutshell Paul is giving you a list of things you can do to effectively love one another. Developing the qualities of love listed in the passage above is critical to keep and preserve relationships by openly showing love for the person next to you.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19
Among the keys of the kingdom of heaven you will find the greatest command of God is to love. Love is also the thoughtful attention applied towards another person, it shows common courtesy, esteem and appreciation for other people. At the same time, the love you give is the same respect and dignity that you want and expect from them. Love is a bonding agent that binds people together and develops respect for another person. Love commands respect and trust from others, but also seeks ways to sustain and nourish a love everyone demands.