By Richard A. Kruse
It is important to consider the love of God for man It is important to consider the love of man for God. But it is also important to consider the love man should have for man.
Many fine things are said in the Bible about love. It is called the first commandment (Matt. 22:36-40); it is called the second commandment; it is the great commandment; it is the last commandment (1 Tim. 1:5). All the law is fulfilled in this commandment (Gal. 5:14). It sums up all the commandments (Rom. 13:8-10). He that practices it fulfills the law. It is the royal law (Jas. 2:8): God said above all things be fervent in love (1 Pet. 4:8) . It is the last of the Christian graces (2 Pet. 1: 7) . It is the first of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It not only covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8), but it also covers all sins (Prov. 10:12). It is greater than faith or hope (1 Cor. 13:13).
God is called love (1 John 4:8,16). If God is love then the amount of love that one has in him is the measure of God that is in him. Too many have more of the devil in them than they have of God. Love must be without hypocrisy ( Rom. 12 :9) . In love of the brethren, be tenderly affectionate one towards another (Rom. 12:10). Love worketh no ill to his neighbor (Rom. 13:10). Because of love one would not eat meat if thereby his brother is grieved (Rom. 14: 15). Knowledge puffeth up but love edifies (1 Cor. 8: 1). Let all that you do be done in love (1 Cor. 16:14).
We should confirm our love to the weak and fallen (2 Cor. 2:8) . Through love we are to be servants one to another (Gal. 5: 13) . Love caused Jacob to work seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him as but a few days (Gen. 29:20). It makes the unpleasant sweet and the dread easy. It changes one’s outlook on life and makes one like the Master who prayed in death for His murderers (Lk. 23:34). It caused Stephen to pray for those who stoned him to death (Acts. 7:60).
We are to follow after love (1 Cor. 14:1). We are to walk in love (Eph. 5:2). We are to bear one another in love (Eph. 4: 12); Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Thus the body edifies itself in love (Eph. 4:16). No wonder that God will see to it that love never faileth (1 Cor. 13:8).
Jesus says that we should love one another, even as He loved us (John 13:34; 15: 12). How much did Christ love us? Did you know that the Bible not only says that Christ laid down His life for us, but that we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16)? Is that too hard for us to practice? Then it is too hard for us to be Christians. Love your neighbor as yourself is the second commandment. That leaves no room for less love for our brethren, all the brethren–even the ones we disagree with or ones of a different race. How far from the Bible many are, and yet they wonder if they will go to heaven (Rev. 22: 14-15).
“Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?” (Lk.5:56). Love will cause us to obey God. It will eliminate gossip, lies, slander and division. Love will cause us to preach the message of love to save the souls of the lost (John 3:16; Rom. 6:3-6; 1 Cor. 15: 1-4).
Truth Magazine VI: 3, p.060