Monday, May 5, 2014

Living the "One Another" Life

I had a dream that I was speaking
With a prophet from the land of wise
In a crowd of people from the land
Of troubled hearts
I said, "We've come here for answers

A solution to our world's demise"
He said, "The journey would be long
But here's where you start..."

Love One Another!

The above lyrics are are from the 1992 Michael W. Smith song, Love One Another (words by Wayne Kirkpatrick). They speak to a basic theology that is often misplaced or missing altogether in today's world- and worse yet in today's church. We manage to make things so theologically complicated, when in fact Jesus bottom-lined it for us all those years ago. The Great Commandment- love God, love people. Life with God is all about relationships.

Scripture is full of One Anothers. Ways that we should respond to the people around us if we want to be in God's will and God's love. I can't help but think that if we were to live by these scriptural commands that our lives- and this world- would be a MUCH better place. Imagine if we all would:
  • A new commandment I give you- Love one another. (John 13:34)
  • Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
  • Live in harmony with one another.  (Romans 12:16)
  • Stop passing judgement on one another.  (Romans 14:13)
  • Accept one another, even as Christ accepted you.  (Romans 15:7)
  • Greet one another with a holy kiss.  (2 Corinthians 13:12)
  • Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  (Ephesians 5:21)
  • Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  (Colossians 3:13)
  • And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  (Hebrews 10:24)
  • Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  (1 Peter 5:5)
  • This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.  (1 John 3:11)
And those are just a few of the at least 59 one another scriptures. It should be as plain as the nose on our face- we are here to take care of each other, no matter who or what we are, and no matter who or what others may do. There is no way out. In Genesis, when Cain asks God if he is his brother's keeper, we now know that God's answer is a resounding YES! We cannot be in the will of God if we judge first, admonish first or seek to change first. Our first task is love and care for one another. If our churches would simply heed these admonitions from scripture, our churches could change the world in a real way.

But perhaps more importantly, if we would focus all of the energy we spend on judgement and condemnation on loving others, it would change US. If we would live the One Another Life our priorities would change, our attitudes would change and our lives would change. We Christians say we want to follow the example of Christ. To do that, it is clear where must begin. Not by reading more books, listening to more sermons, building a more complete systematic theology or being louder with our words. If we want to be like Jesus, then we need to do what he did and believe what he taught. We have to die to ourselves and begin living the One Another Life. "The journey will be long, but here is where it starts...
Love One Another!

Because of Jesus,

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