But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!
If you read this chapter, you’ll see that this was one of the letters written to the seven churches, the heading to this chapter is ‘The Loveless Church’. I believe this ‘Loveless Church’ was mentioned first, because love is so important and when you have love, everything else will fall into place. As believers of Christ, we are the body of Christ, we are the church. Church is not meant to be a religious routine without emotion, church is the coming together of believers to worship GOD, to give HIM all the honor and glory HE deserves, the message the Pastor (Preacher, Priest) brings is to strengthen, encourage, grow our knowledge, and give us understanding of GOD’s word.
There is only one warning with love, do not love the world, do not love the ‘things’ of this world, do not put them above others. Do not compare your church with other churches, by who has the larger building, which has the larger sanctuary or attendance. Do not fall into the trap of comparing. ”Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” (1 John 2:15-16) There is nothing wrong with gaining possessions; the problem is when your possessions possess you. We have to remain faithful to GOD, loving HIM and giving to HIM and others. As long as our stuff doesn’t become the center of who we believe we are. GOD wants to bless us, HE wants us to not have any wants, this doesn’t require us to be poor (why we would be called upon to help the poor if HE wanted us poor), and as long as our first want is to please and serve GOD, we are in the right place with our hearts for GOD.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (John 15:9-12) Jesus showed us how important love was, by being the example of love. Jesus went on to say in the next verse the example of that ultimate love, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) This command was so important, Jesus repeated it again in verse 17, “This is my command: Love each other”.
“We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters” 1 John 4:19-21 If we love one another, we are fulfilling all of GOD’s commands, because we cannot sin against a person if we love them. It’s easy to love our friends and families, but it’s completely difficult to love our enemies and those who just get on our nerves.
If we are struggling with loving others, ask GOD to help you love others, ask GOD to enlarge your heart, give you compassion and understanding. We are called to love all, because Jesus died for ALL, not just the people we like. “Owe nothing to anyone –except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These- and other such commandments- are summed up in this one commandment: “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” Romans 13:8-10
So now that we know that we are to love others and not this world, we need to know what love really is. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
If you are struggling with this, ask GOD for help, HE is faithful and will answer your request. Remember we are the church, we are to share the Good News and share Christ’s love. “I also tell you this: if two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.For where tow or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20