BIBLE READING: HEBREWS 13
1 Let brotherly love continue.
Well, obviously there are so many different, wonderful, familiar passages that we could do a devotion on today from this chapter. I thought I would expound a little bit on the not so obvious.
“Brotherly love” here is the Greek word Philadelphia. I do not know how accurate it is to call the city Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I think it would be hard for any city to call itself that. There is not much brotherly love in America today. The writer here is talking about the “love of the brethren”. This is the kind of love that we should have for every brother and sister in Christ. It is interesting to me in this first verse that the word “let” and the word “continue” are the same word. I believe it has been translated exactly as it is supposed to be. It has the thought process applied to it as the following: “continue making brotherly love continue”. In other words, you and I need to work very diligently at making sure that brotherly love does not stop.
Now, there are many things that can make this kind of love stop. Personality conflicts, preference conflicts, power struggle conflicts, and peculiarity conflicts to name a few. Having different backgrounds, having different types of education, coming from different cultures, being from different parts of the country, and traditional religious practices can cause numerous conflicts between brothers and sisters in Christ. We can feel differently about things medically, spiritually, biblically, socially, and of course politically. In our day and time, because of social networking, we have invited everybody to hear our opinions, see our interest, and magnify our differences. We are more in touch than ever before, and we have more conflict than we ever had before. In the middle of all that is the church. Brotherly love is not something that happens by accident or circumstance. Brotherly love is something that must be worked for. It takes sacrifice, humility, and submitting to each other for brotherly love to continue.
Pride is the enemy of brotherly love. Have you shown brotherly love to your brothers and sisters in Christ lately? I don’t just mean the ones that you enjoy, like, have common interest with, and agree with on numerous social, biblical, and political issues. I mean your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with you on things. God has given us a simple command as His children in this short verse. It is easy to understand, and yet very complicated to accomplish. However, God would not ask us to do it if he could not give us the ability, power, and patience to do so. As you go about your day, “let brotherly love continue”.