bible-study-13

Love Above All Else

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 (NIV)

One of the greatest showcases of love was displayed on the cross as Christ died for our sins. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” The best way to demonstrate our love for God is by loving those around us. The Scriptures actually encourage us to “one-up” each other in regard to showing love. We would do well to heed its words.

Alternate translations

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”(KJV)

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”(ESV)

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”(New Living Translation)

“Be affectionate to your brethren and love one another; be preferring and honoring one another.”(Aramaic Bible in plain English)

Meaning of the verse

In John 13:34, Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.”

This command is repeated throughout the New Testament by Jesus and the apostles. Yet, this seems to be one of the hardest commands for Christians to follow.

The problem is, as humans, we are self-centered, egotistical, and thus – we become judgmental.

We judge those who are non-Christians, condemning them for their beliefs and behaviors. We even do this with Christians who practice a different type of Christianity. With both of these groups, we put all our energy into criticizing them rather than using that same energy to convert them.

Why?

Because we associate the things they do with the devil/Satan. And because we hate the devil, we hate those who do the things of Satan. And this is where we fail.

We can’t defeat evil with hate – only with love.

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses”

– Proverbs 10:12

Jesus said:

“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

– 1 John 4:20

By condemning rather than loving we are playing right into the devil’s hand and doing exactly what Satan wants us to do, rather than following what Jesus wants us to do, which is: love one another.

Alternate verses

John 13:34

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.

1 Peter 1:22

Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth so that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart.

1 Peter 2:17

Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

2 Peter 1:7

and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.