Scripture speaks of helping an enemy and "heaping burning coals of fire on his head." This seems to imply revenge, yet the Hebrew idiom indicates otherwise.
The outgoing concern toward other beings begins with God the Father to Christ to us. How much we love our brethren may be a good gauge of how much we love God.
God appreciates when we show concern for others, developing the maturity to overlook the slights others have made to us. Love sets an example for others.
Jesus set the bar very high when it comes to love. We no longer live for ourselves, but to Christ, who commands us to love everyone, including our enemies.
Love doesn't become 'love' until we act. If we don't do what is right, the right feeling will never be formed; emotions are largely developed by our experiences.
We are obligated to show compassion and mercy to all, refraining from gossip, exercising righteous judgment, forgiving others and applying the Golden Rule.
John Reid, reflecting on the prophecies in the book of Amos, recognizes that while it applied to our forebears in ancient Judah and Israel, it applies just as certainly to modern Israel, plagued with the same sins as our forebears, guilty of violating its covenant with God, establishing a syncretistic religion and treating the …
Love is the first of the fruit of the Spirit, the one trait of God that exemplifies His character. Here is how the Bible defines what love is and what love does.
Laziness and fear are the greatest challenges to love. When Protestant theologians disparage "works," connecting them to salvation rather than sanctification and growth, they encourage spiritual laziness. If we are lazy, we might still be saved, but we will have built nothing to fulfill God's purpose in us. If we …
God does not love everybody equally. Nowhere does He tell us to prefer the ungodly world. Though He tells us to love our enemies, but not to be affectionate.
Paul fought against discord by reminding the brethren that the church is united in Christ, and that He requires His followers to show love to each other.
A native practice involves leaving a young man on a remote island with only a bow and arrows until he learns to become a man, and God does something similar.
David Maas, resuming the series "Our Part in the Sanctification Process," focuses on the need to cultivate mature self-love. Using a pair of metaphors (a set of six dams on a water causeway and six interconnected transformers on a gigantic power grid) he explores the love circuit emanating from God, to ourselves, to …
Most people understand the basic point of this well-known parable. The whole story describes working compassion as contrasted to selfishness. It also clarifies just who is our neighbor.
Bill Onisick, reflecting upon the Irish Dart competition in which a 9-Darter displays championship, draws a spiritual analogy based on the fact that one definition of sin is "missing the mark," as one of the Greek words for sin, hamartia denotes. Jesus warns us that, unless our righteousness exceeds that of the …
God has provided the God-plane marriage relationship to teach us how to submit to one another, sacrificing our self-centeredness for the benefit of our spouse.
Our hurtful words can create scars that last longer than any physical scar that sticks and stones may cause. Christians must harness the power of the tongue.
John Reid, observing that people pull together in camaraderie and productivity in times of national crisis, admonishes that we must also have a transcendental goal, a vision of the finish line, in order to overcome and grow. Sacrifice and discipline rather than self-absorption come naturally when we envision a goal. The faith …
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The eyes of the world are on those who seek to be God's servants. Consider these stories of people whose inspiring examples serve as witnesses to God's character.
The movie Ben-Hur captures the essence of the time and ministry of Christ. By letting go of anger and hatred, we take on the yoke of Jesus Christ.
It is impossible to become perfect without having mercy or compassion. Jesus' command to become perfect includes showing compassion to our enemies.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that a major part of holiness entails loving one another, explores some ways in which we can fulfill this objective. We are to do unto others as we desire others to do to us, acknowledging that there is a reciprocity involved in this behavior. Self-centeredness should be discarded and replaced with a …
The humble attitude exemplified by Jesus in footwashing shows the mind of God. God expects us to follow Christ's example of loving others, flaws and all.
In Paul's listings of virtues, meekness always appears near the end, reflecting its difficulty. Meekness is the gentle, quiet spirit of selfless devotion.
God alone has the prerogative of giving and taking life. As ambassadors of God's heavenly Kingdom, we do not take up arms on behalf of any nation on the earth.
The Bible shows different forms of holiness, different forms of righteousness, and different forms of love. The holiness of the Old Covenant referred to something cut away, separated, or consecrated for special use—but not inherently moral or ethical. The New Covenant, based upon better gifts and promises, actually …
When the U.S. Congress wanted to put 'In God we Trust' on currency, the Seventh Day Adventists objected, arguing that the U.S. has never been a Christian nation.
Jesus encouraged His disciples by promising to send the Holy Spirit to empower them for the challenges of the Christian life, making us sensitive to God.
Jesus, showing the spirit of the law, warns against rash divorces, taking oaths, invoking God's name frivolously, realizing that a covenant is binding.
Jesus modeled the practice of foot-washing to demonstrate the need to be submissive to one another, to serve one another, including those who betray.
Focusing upon the absolute necessity for exercising forgiveness and reconciliation, John Ritenbaugh admonishes us that receiving or using spiritual gifts should never produce an inflated ego or sense of superiority. Prideful, idolatrous, self-worship reaps a crop of bitter fruit from a root of bitterness. As God has forgiven and …
Our society is becoming increasingly violent. The sixth of the Ten Commandments covers crime, capital punishment, murder, hatred, revenge and war.
John Ritenbaugh reveals that the valley-of-shadow imagery symbolizes the fears, frustrations, trials, and tests needed to produce character, quality fruit, and an intimate trust in the shepherd. His rod, an extension of his will and strength, serves not only against predators, but also prevents members of the flock from butting …
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon Paul's motivation for his letter to the Philippians, both appealing for unity and offering encouragement, reminding them that their relationship with one another was through Christ. Unity could only be maintained if they prayed for one another, exercising reasoning, discerning, and discriminating …