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.
In His letter to the Ephesians, Jesus Christ scolds the church for having lost their "first love" (Revelation 2:4), despite their tireless zeal in defending the gospel from false apostles. What, exactly, did they lose? Martin Collins answers from Scripture: A Christian's foremost responsibility is to love God wholeheartedly. …
Christ says that we can show no greater love than in sacrificing our lives. We must come to the point where we are doing this daily, yet how do we do this?
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 …
He who loves God must love his brother, including every fellow human being. Our closeness with God transcends the other human relationships.
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.
God's people are like a musical ensemble, each having unique pitches and timbre. As we yield to our Conductor, we also blend with one another, creating harmony.
We are called to take on the very nature of God, to put on the love of God. Surprisingly, We can rekindle our first love by ardently keeping God's Commandments.
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.
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.
God is the source of real love; mankind by nature does not have it. It is only by knowing God that we can have this love. Godly love is a cycle that God initiates.
The old serpent that deluded Eve has bastardized the term love, flooding the world with over one billion books distorting love. This is not the love of God.
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.
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 …
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.
Love is not a feeling, but an action—defined as keeping God's commandments, the only means by which we can possibly know Him, leading to eternal life.
We are obligated to show compassion and mercy to all, refraining from gossip, exercising righteous judgment, forgiving others and applying the Golden Rule.
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.
We are royalty, part of the highest Family in all creation. We can take great comfort in knowing who it is we really are and that the Father greatly values us.
We must lay aside every weight, accept God's chastening, receive encouragement from those who have gone before, and get back into the spiritual race.
Christ's redemption obligates us to obey and serve Him. We show our gratitude for this priceless gift by doing good in acts of love and service to others.
Martin Collins, observing that, in the first five books in the Bible, there are no statements of "Thank you," nevertheless reminds us that the thank offerings in Leviticus 21:29 indicate that thanksgiving has a singularly profound meaning. King David was prolific in his expressions of gratitude to God, as was the …
The peace offering teaches many things, but one of its main symbols is fellowship. Our communion with the Father and the Son obligates us to pursue peace.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on offertory sermonettes he has heard in the past, many of which seemed to emphasize that people were not sacrificing enough for the work, explores other motivations for giving. When Paul attempted to motivate the Corinthians (a wealthy congregation which had received spiritual gifts), he compared …
We may look around the church of God and wonder why so many are not being healed. Geoff Preston, suffering a chronic illness himself, uses his experiences to assure us that God is working out even these matters for our good.
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.
Jesus twice asks Peter if he has agape love, and both times Peter can only respond that he has tremendous personal affection — he was lacking agape love.
One of our primary duties as Christians is to build strong, loving relationships with our brethren. These relationships are the "joints" between the members of Christ's body, the church. What are you supplying to the growth of the body?
Clyde Finklea, asking us what identifies a person as a true disciple of Christ, points to the command in John 13:34, commanding that the disciples love one another as Christ loved us—loving to the extent that He would give up His life. God is composed of love, as described in its many facets in Galatians 5:22 and I …
How does God identify Himself with His disciples today? No miracle manifests itself when He sends His Spirit, but the Spirit begins producing miraculous changes.
Martin Collins, concluding his series "God's Perseverance with the Saints," focuses on Christ's desire that all His disciples have unity and love. The unity He appeals for is not organizational unity, but unity within the divine nature, exampled in the unity between the Father and the Son. This unity operationally …
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 …
Bill Onisick, asserting that getting grape vines to bear fruit is difficult, suggests that the production of succulent grapes is at least a two-year project, in which pruning dead wood and lateral vines that produce much foliage, but little fruit, and exposing buds to sufficient sun (by thinning the canopy) are essential. …
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.
Mark Schindler, establishing some foundational principles that God does not create chaos and confusion, but has re-established order after Satan's rebellion, points out the danger and folly of presumptuously choosing standards of right and wrong rather than trusting God's judgment. The essential dualities of the Tree of Life and …
The unity of God's church does not derive from organizational expertise, the conformity of ecumenism, or the tolerance for evil, but from the family model.
Kim Myers, reflecting on Amos's prophecy to ancient Israel in Amos 5:11, castigating the leaders for their shabby treatment to the poor and destitute in society, draws a parallel to America's leaders today, allowing or creating situations in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, leading to record numbers of our …
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.
Our intimate fellowship should not be with the world, but be concentrated upon God and those who have made the Covenant, loving them as we would ourselves.
[Editors Note: Audio quality improves at the 4 minute mark.]
When God calls us and redeems us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we suddenly come under obligation—a debt we cannot pay but overshadows all we do.
To dramatize the perennial harlotry of Israel and the incredible love God exhibits toward His people, He commands Hosea to marry a harlot, Gomer.
Bitterness divides one member of Christ's Body from another. Individuals often look for a 'doctrinal' reason to justify leaving a congregation.
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.
Mark Schindler, reflecting on the 30th anniversary of his baptism, recalls how he joyfully, but perhaps myopically, assumed that he would automatically walk harmoniously and peacefully with the other members of the body of Christ into the Kingdom and eternity of God, without experiencing any impediments or sibling rivalry among …
We may feel sorry or even guilty when we sin, but have we actually repented? The Scriptures show that true repentance produces these seven, distinct fruits.
Persistence in prayer does not mean an incessant pestering God into action. God always looks at our petitions from the vantage-point of His purpose.
True worship of God is more than just not sinning but also visiting the widows and the fatherless. These categories represent all who are weak and lack support.
Austin Del Castillo, asking us what we would do to receive the approbation "the friend of God" as did father Abraham, reminds us that, as the affianced Bride of Christ, we do have this distinction "right out of the gate." God the Father has called many to be the bride, but only a relative few have been …
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon I Peter 1:13-16, reiterates that holiness must be an indispensible characteristic of the called-out priesthood. This mandate markedly influences our relationships, making us servants to one another as a band of brothers and subject to God, developing respect and affection for the brotherhood. We …
The Pharisees were in the office or seat of Moses. Jesus taught His followers to follow their words (pertaining to the Law of God), but not their personal examples.
Austin Del Castillo, observing the ballooning prayer list, the continuing fractures occurring throughout the greater Church of God, and the high frequency of people offended, asserts that, unless our primary relationship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ, a positive relationship with our called-out brethren will be …
Mark Schindler, asking us to ponder the incredible privilege we have been given to be placed within the Body of Christ, called when we were dead in trespasses, reminds us that this same privilege applies to our fellow saints as well. He warns us not to selfishly protect our turf, building walls of separation from our brethren. …
The fear and trembling before God is more like reverence and awe instead of abject terror. It leads us to total dependence upon God with a desire to repudiate sin.