Christians and Love Go Together?
By: Rev. Joe Kramer
(1)Keep on loving each other as brothers. (2) Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (3) Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
(4) Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (5) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
(6) So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
-Hebrews 13:1-6 (NIV)
In these verses the writer of Hebrews (tradition says Paul, others say no) comes to concluding his remarks. Does the writer say that they should seek to be right, to complain, to back-bite, to gossip? No, the first thing he says is to keep on loving each other as brothers. WOW! What a major revelation! No it is something we know we should do, but often don’t. The Greek word used here for love speaks to that of brotherly love. A love you would have for a family. The writer is saying that Christians are all apart of God’s family and we should let love reign; not bitterness, anguish and contention (which is what most people/churches do). We should love one another as a family that is not at war within itself.
Verse two is referring (most likely) to Abraham who showed hospitality to three men who turned out to be angels. He treated them as honored guests. Could you imagine what would happen in our churches if people actually extended hospitality? THERE WOULD BE A REVIVAL OF PEOPLE COMING TO KNOW CHRIST! Wouldn’t that be awesome? You know it has been a long time since I experienced Christian Hospitality, but yesterday I did and the sad part was is that I forget what a blessing it was to me and our family! Churches (people) can be healing and can build each other up. That should be our goal.
In verse three the writer asks us to remember the suffering of other brothers and sisters in Christ and what they are going through. Too often in America we forget about those in our midst who are suffering; we focus on missions and forget about those right in our midst who are going through emotional, physical, and spiritual suffering. They suffer in silence. When you see someone who is down, maybe you should talk to them. The problem, however, is that most people who go to church don’t know the person sitting next to them in the pew well enough to know they are going through something that is hurting them. Maybe we need to get to know our Christian brothers and sisters?
Verses four through six is a reminder. It reminds us to live in purity before a loving and caring God; A God who wants us to abstain from putting our carnal passions ahead of God and other people. Often you can tell a person’s relationship with God by how they treat other people. Do they use people for their own benefit? Or are they sincerely trying to help others and love them the why Christ loves them.
How are you today? Do you love others the way you should? Are you showing hospitality to others? Or perhaps have you slipped into using others for your own benefit and pleasure? Where do you stand? Only you and God know the answer to these questions, but perhaps today you need to repent before a merciful and Holy God and get yourself where you should be in your Christian Walk. The choice is yours.