The Prerequisite to Loving One Another
R E A D / / T H I N K / / P R A Y
Taking Today’s Talk Home:
The prerequisite to loving one another is embracing God’s love.
1 John 3:23 (NIV)
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
There are two expectations in this verse: to believe and to love. Embracing God’s Love is the prerequisite to Loving One Another. For everyone that believes in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ: our command is to love one another. If you believe in the name of His Son – Jesus. Then guess what, you got to love one another. It isn’t optional and it’s not a suggestion. It’s the command based on our belief. And that belief is the absolute prerequisite to loving one another.
We know what a prerequisite is, right? A prerequisite is defined as ‘a thing that is required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist.’ So, when you’re in college or even in high school some classes will require a prerequisite. If you’re going to major in mathematics, physics, computer science or engineering you – most likely – will be required to take calculus. And, in order to take calculus, the prerequisites would look something like this: high school pre-algebra, algebra 1, algebra 2 and then pre-calculus THEN college algebra 1, college algebra 2 and a college pre-calculus class. All that, to take calculus. Those are the pre-requisites.
Do you know what happens when you take a class without taking the prerequisites? It does not end well.
The prerequisites are there in order to make sure you succeed.
In fact, when you look at most college classes and they list the prerequisites this is how it is described: “To succeed in this class, the following prerequisites are required.” And when it comes to ‘loving one another’, the prerequisite is to embrace God’s love.
*READ 1 Corinthians 13.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. ~ I Corinthians 13 (NLT)
**THINK about how Paul describes love in this chapter – the feelings, attitudes and behaviors. Think about how you would describe yourself – your feelings, attitudes and behaviors.
***PRAY that God would fill you with the Holy Spirit so that your feelings, attitudes and behaviors would reflect His love.
****Every day this week ask yourself: With God’s help and the Holy Spirit’s leading…
Who can I love today? Who can I be patient with? Who can I be kind to? With whom do I need to get rid of my jealousy or rudeness? With whom do I need to stop demanding my own selfish way? With whom do I need to stop being irritable with? With whom do I need to stop keeping score? Who in my life today can I rejoice with? Who in my life today can I provide hope to? Who in my life today can I instill some faith in?
Prayer Focus for the Week:
I want to love one another. I want to live my life in a way that would reflect Your love for me.
I want to live the kind of love that Paul describes 1 Corinthians 13. And for me to love that way, I need Your help. I cannot do it on my own. I need You. And as I embrace Your love for me, I am claiming Your power and Your presence in my life to love one another. Today, point me to people that I can love. Let my love for people be a big, bright, shining billboard to You. Let my love for people be a visible and clear display of my love for You.
In Jesus’ Name…Amen.
Preparing for NEXT Sunday:
Next week: CARE for one another. Take time this week and review these Scriptures:
Philippians 2:4, Romans 12:10, Galatians 6:9-10, Ephesians 4:32, 1 John 3:17-18, Matthew 25:40, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Colossians 3:12.
What does caring for one another look like?
Remember, we have two options. We can go to church or we can be the church.
Both are important. But only has the power to change the world.
Let’s do this.
Let’s be the church.
Let’s do life together.
Until next time…