Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Seventh Part

Do you have a brother? I don’t. I do have a sister, and I can remember many times of sibling rivalry. Yet, I love her. Joseph had brothers, too. At their reunion, brotherly kindness was evident. Now, I have brothers, too, in Christ. I know that for several reasons, but partly because Peter speaks of it as the seventh item:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; (2 Peter 1:5-7a KJV)

Brotherly kindness comes after godliness? Really? It would be almost impossible without godliness, wouldn’t it? Doesn’t it take being closer to God, acting within His will, to achieve the following?

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32 KJV)

Isn’t that what David saw when he asked our Lord to judge him and referred to:

For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: (Psalms 26:3a KJV)

We know what God has done in the past. We have His example before us and it is filled with loving kindness.

Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD. (Psalms 107:43 KJV)

Even for the unlovable? Yes. Why?

We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:19-21 KJV)

How lovable are we? Not so much.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10 KJV)

Yet – God so loved us that He gave His only begotten son. We believed what we heard about Him and placed our faith in His promises. We stepped forward on the path to Christian growth. We’ve seen His love in action and we’ve examined our own lives and we should know about brotherly love:

But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (1 Thessalonians 4:9 KJV)

No doubt it is God’s will that we have brotherly kindness for those God loves, and He’ll take care of the rest:

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:1-2 KJV)

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