Is there anyone outside of your family that you love like family?
More than anything else God really, really wants us to love each other. Why? Because loving each other is how we love God. It’s how we worship God and prove that we trust him. And so for Christians love is a really big deal.
1 Thessalonians might be the very first New Testament book to ever be written. The Apostle Paul’s letters were written first, and 1 Thessalonians might be the first one he wrote. And do you know what Paul tells some of the very first Christians in the very first book of the New Testament? You guessed it – he tells them to love each other. Actually, he says that he doesn’t need to tell them to love each other because they are already doing it. Listen to what Paul says to the Thessalonians about love here in chapter 4:
1 Thessalonians 4:9. Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
Paul tells us two things about the Thessalonian’s love for each other.
The first is that their love is a “brotherly love.” This was a word that was only used to describe the love in a biological family. Does your family love each other? If it does, then you have “brotherly love” for each other.
But what is so amazing about Paul using this word is that the Christians in Thessalonica weren’t all in the same biological family. But they were in the same spiritual family. And that is Paul’s point – we are all one big family when we are saved by Jesus. Christians should treat each other like family. Like brothers and sisters, moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. We should love each other like we do our own families.
And the second thing Paul tells us about love is that God himself teaches us how to love. He said, “you have been taught by God to love one another.”
This means that when you become a Christian and connect your life to Jesus, God begins to teach you to love others. God the Holy Spirit is inside of you showing you how to love, how to be kind, how to share, how to forgive, and how to help. We don’t have to figure out how to love on our own, we simply need to look at how God loves us, believe that we are loved by God, and then follow his example. Loving others won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
Because of Jesus God is teaching us how to love each other like family.
With Jesus we CAN love each other like family.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch the movie “Lilo and Stitch” together or just the scene below. Lilo and Nani learn to love Stitch like family – brotherly love. We too can love other Christians (even those who are different from us) like family.
Keep teaching me to love others. Thank you for loving me first so that I can know I am loved and risk loving others.
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