You Shall Love One Another

By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.

John 13:35

LORD Jesus we praise You for You did not only tell us to love one another, but You have set the greatest example of Love in all time. You do not only love, but You are Love — the very Essence of Love. Hallelujah! Forgive us, O God we pray, that we so often fail to love one another. Enable us, precious Savior, that we would love You more and more with each day. Help us to get a hold of Your Love so we are capable to love one another as You are loving us. In Jesus’ wonderful name we pray. Amen.

Reality Check

In my last blog I asked you about the type of friends you like to spend your time with and the way/s they will influence you.

Last Wednesday I have met with a precious Sister in Christ. Since a few weeks now, we are studying “The Proverbs 31 Woman” of the Bible together. It is such a joy to study the Word of God with someone who is very like-minded and who also takes the role of being a Keeper at Home quite serious. What a treasure God has brought into my life through her.

Yesterday I returned a call from a Christian lady who is struggling with a serious situation at her current church. She shared with me how disappointed she is in how Christian people can act toward other Christians.

“I mean, these are Christian people; why then do they act this way?”

This is a question that most of us cannot answer. Only God knows the heart of each person that has ever lived, is living, or is going to live on this earth. We do not see into the heart of others.

What we do know, though, especially from today’s verse, is that we ought to love one another because that will reveal that we are the LORD’s disciples. The verse talks about us, and it addresses us to love others. It does not say:

By this all will know that they are My disciples,
if they have love for one another.

Ouch!

Loving one another includes, but is not limited to:
– being patient with each other
– comforting one another
– encouraging others to press on
– rejoicing with those who rejoice,
– upholding the weak
– warning others (to get off the wrong way)
– weeping with those who weep

Oh yes, all of this can be quite challenging to accomplish. It is more or less hard to do with some, while it is easier to do with others.

Let’s turn our thinking about our Christian friends around and ask ourselves:

Am I the kind of friend others like to spend time with?
What are some of the things I usually suggest that we would do together?
In what ways will I influence my friend/s? Does my presence in her life trigger a change of behavior in her? (Now that is already giving you a clue for next week’s blog posts when we will talk about: Influenced for the good or for the bad?)

Who are the friend/s you need to pray for today?!

(Read more about John 13:31-33 in Heaven On Earth)

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Your Friends

Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another,
And the LORD listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the LORD
And who meditate on His name.

“They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.

Malachi 3:16-18

LORD Jesus we praise for You are always with us. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we’ll give You a second place. Help us to make You number One in our life: our best Friend, the One we can run to and talk to — no matter what the hour of the day and whatever problem we are facing. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray.

In Monday’s blog post I already posted some challenging questions for us to ask about the influences in our life. Let me continue today by asking you more about your friend/s:

What are the kind of friends you like to spend time with?
What are some of the things you will do together?
In what ways will your friend/s have an influence on you for you to come along and to participate in more or less godly actions?

This week I stumbled across today’s Bible verses and they are on my mind throughout the week. I love verse 17! It is one of the many verses in God’s Word that is speaking about God’s people belonging to Him. We belong to Him—Hallelujah! It continues to say that, One day He will make us His Jewels. What a thought! Beloved, we do belong to Him, and we are precious to Him. Is that not reason enough for us to watch who and what is influencing our life (leading us on our path)?

Let us review Malachi 3:16-18 and challenge ourselves with these questions:

Are we of those who fear the LORD, and do we speak to one another (in the way we ought to), and meditate on His name (together and in our private devotional time)?

Are we convinced that we are His (Sheep of His Pasture as Psalm 100 says), and that we are precious to Him? Will we believe that He will spare us and deliver us?

Are we able to discern between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serve God and the one who does not serve Him?

Know the good Way and walk in it today.

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The Influences In Your Life

Thus says the LORD:
Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths,
where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Jeremiah 6:16

LORD Jesus we praise You for the godly people you have brought into our life. Most of all, though, we praise You for the powerful influence the Holy Spirit has in the life of God’s people. Forgive us, O precious LORD we pray, whenever we long to walk in the way of the heathen instead of walking in the counsel of Your Word. Enable us to hear and obey Your Voice and to walk in all the ways which You have commanded us to walk in. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.

What are some of the things that have/had an impact on your life? Who are the people that influence you — in a good way or in a bad way? Does music play an important role in your life? Which kind of music? How much will the words of a book guide you in your decisions? What about reading and/or listening to God’s Word? Do you find the Bible to be old-fashioned or does it (still) apply to one’s life on earth?

Do you, or did you, ever ask for God to show you the old path — the good way of life? What other kind of counsel, influence of things and people, written and spoken words are currently leading you and directing your steps in life?

Can you guess the topic for this week’s blog posts? They will be talking more about the influences in our life.

If you will hear His Voice,
then do carefully obey the LORD your God,
and do not harden your heart today.

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