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Being Rubbed The Wrong Way
12/17/2008

Being Rubbed the Wrong Way
    
    If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1John 4:20-21 (NKJV)
    
    It amazes me to see people who profess to love the Lord, and yet they will openly say, I cant stand this particular person, because&.
    It boggles my mind that I can be at church or wherever and see a couple of Christians that I know, who allegedly share a common love for God, but they cant tolerate, or refuse to be around each other because of their character differences. They may even hate the other person because of certain things that they have done, or because of the way that they act.
    
    Well, according to the scriptures above, this not only shouldnt be, it cant be! What I mean to say is simple. A person cant truly love God, and hate their Christian Brother or sister. Again, according to scripture, that person is a liar.
    
    As Christians, we have peace of knowing that we can be confident that God loves us, and this can take away our biggest fears, but it doesnt negate our responsibility to act in accordance to what God has commanded us to do. We need to understand that it is Gods love for us, as well as His love in us, that sets us free to love those people who we would normally find unlovable. And we can love them the same way that God loves them.
    
    This is a true test of a believer, and to fail it simply proves that our claim to love God is a lie. The Apostle John treats this very seriously, and he puts this lie in the same category of those people, who claim to be Christian, and yet they continue to willingly practice sin, and with those who flat out deny that Jesus is the Christ.
    
    If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 1John 1:6 (NIV)
    
    The man who says, I know him, but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1John 2:4 (NIV)
    
    Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. 1John 2:22 (NIV)
    
    John has a double sense in liar. First of all,
    1)A liar does not speak the truth. So what he claims is false.
     And secondly,
    2) His actions show that he has divorced himself from the reality of God. In other words, he doesnt obey what he knows to be right within Gods Word, and yet he calls himself a believer and follower.
    
    The final justifiable proof of the life of love is obedience to the teaching of Christ. John makes it clear that obedience expresses itself in a single command. That our love for God and our love for our neighbor are inseparable. The one is not possible apart from the other. We are to love our neighbors in God, and God in our neighbors; this is what remaining in his love means.
    
     As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. John 15:9 (NIV)
    
    Hey, there are going to be people who seem to rub us the wrong way. I want to suggest that you dont focus on those things about them, and instead, try focusing on the positive common denominators that you share with them. Remember that they were made in the image of a loving God, and focus on that image of Him that lives within them. Ask God to give you a heart to see them in a way that He does. And tell the Lord that you are willing to allow Him to love them through you. Dont put limits on Gods love, and His power to transform your heart, and youll be blessed.
    
    STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the scriptures above about claiming to believe in the Lord, and yet not following His commands?
    
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is there someone in your life that you are not forgiving or that you are allowing to get under your skin?
    
    APPLICATION: Bring that person to the Lord, and ask that He would allow you to love that person as if you love God Himself. Ask that He would help you to see that person the way that He does.
    
    Father, Thank You for the love that You have for me. Thank You for giving me this same love, and the ability to share it with others. Help me to see the image of You in them instead of focusing on the things that cause me to stumble. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott
    
    

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000