Vol.VII No.IX Pg.3
November 1970

Proving Love For God

Dan S. Shipley

Through .John, God teaches us that in loving our brethren we show our love for Him and prove ourselves to be His children. (1Jn. 3:10; 4:7) If we love one another, God abideth in us, and His love is perfected in us. (4:12) He who loveth God loveth his brother also. (4:21) —for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen. And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also. (4:20, 21) Love for God cannot by—pass the brethren. As our standing with God is made dependent upon loving our brethren, every Christian needs to understand what this love involves.

Since love for brethren is easier pro- fessed than practiced, John says, My little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth. (1 Jn. 3:18) Here is a vitally important principle! Love for brethren is expressed in DOING and not in SAYING! We recall how that Peter said he would lay down his life for Jesus, but in the same night denied Him three times. Like Peter, many brethren WOULD DO that which they WILL NOT DO! Many would lay down their lives for the brethren but will not lay down a five-dollar bill to help feed them. Others who would go all the way for a brother will not go across town to visit him in the hospital. —how doth the love of God abide in him? The most careful aim avails nothing when the shot is not fired; neither the best of intentions if not fulfilled. The true measure of love for brethren is not to be found in what one WOULD DO, but rather, in what one IS DOING!

Children of God can and must demon- strate love for brethren now! So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially them that are of the household of the faith. (Gal. 6:10) There are brethren among us who could benefit from the expressions of such love today. In addition to the poor and sick, our ministration of love could include the aged, lonely, widows, babes in Christ, the weak and unfaithful, and those who are distressed and bereaved. Opportunities for demonstrating love are limitless!

But this love cannot be manifested by merely bumping-in to each other at Bible classes and worship. Loving in deed means in act and fact. It requires a personal, face-to-face involvement. Only in this way can we express the care, concern, and tender affection that we are to have for all brethren.

The requirements of this love makes debtors of us all. (Rom. 12:8) Loving brethren is an ever-owed, never-satisfied debt. The exercise of it strengthens us, it helps the brethren, and it glorifies God. By this love the family of God is cemented together. Without it, he who claims love for God is twice-wrong.

This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. (Jn. 15:12) Here is the simple antidote to many complex problems that plague Gods people. Love the brethren in deed and truth! Failure here could make our unloved brethren the biggest obstacle between us and heaven!