"The One-Anotherings of Scripture" on John 13:34-35 by Mike Cunningham - January 30, 2022
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you show love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
The Character of Our Love – selfless and sacrificial
1. Love one another deeply with a pure heart. (1 Pet. 1:22, John 13:34, 1 John 3:11,23 & John 4:7,11,12)
Value the souls of those around you like they are your most valuable possession.
2. Be kind and tender one to another. (Ephesians 4:32)
Do gracious, thoughtful things for each other that show the sweet affection that you have for them.
3. Submit yourselves one to another. (Ephesians 5:20-21)
Give up something of yourself, something you deserve or have rights to, for the sake of another. Let them take the lead.
4. Have compassion one of another. (1 Pet 3:8)
If a brother or sister is suffering, come alongside them and suffer with them. You may not have to say anything, just feel their pain and be present with them through it.
5. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honouring one another. (Rom 12:10)
Think of others before yourself. Put their interests and needs in front of your own.
The Goal of Our Love – togetherness, purposeful fellowship and community, supporting others
1. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:7-10)
Invite each other over to your houses for dinner; to enjoy each other’s company and share your lives with one another.
2. Bear one another’s burdens. (Gal 6:2)
Find out what heavy loads your brothers and sisters are carrying and do something, in fact, do all you can to help them make it through.
3. Do not give up meeting with one another. (Heb. 10:25) (Eph 5:19)
Get together, sing together, pray together, laugh together, cry together, and live together!
4. Greet one another with a holy kiss. (2 Cor 13:12)
Be genuinely excited to see one another! Not like Judas who betrayed our Lord with an unholy kiss.
The Practice of Our Love – edification
1. Build up others through words. (Ephesians 4:29) (1 Cor 1:10)
Tell others that they are valuable. Affirm them in what they are good at. Speak words that let them know they are important in the Church and to you.
2. Encourage one another daily. (Heb 3:13)
Find something every day to do for one another that will add to their strength, help them keep going and finish the race well.
3. “The Lord is coming back”… Comfort one another with these words. (1 Thess. 4:15-18)
Remind each other often that Jesus is coming back and that we need to live each day as if the trumpet will be sounding any minute.
4. Pray for one another. (James 5:16)
Get alone with God and petition Him earnestly for the cares and needs of your brothers and sisters.
5. Consider how you may spur one another on to love and good deeds. (Heb 10:24)
Stop for a moment and ask yourself this question, “What could I say or do today that would help a brother or sister live out their love for God and others?
The Challenge to Our Love – dealing with differences and healing others’ hurts
1. Bear with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
Put up with a little of each other’s quirkiness or even foolishness for you may have some of that yourself!
2. Be not consumed one of another; serve one another; if you bite and devour one another; take heed lest you consume one another. (Gal 5:13-16)
Stop taking small bites out of one another, especially behind each other’s backs with small comments of frustration, or criticism. Otherwise, there soon will be nothing left.
3. Speak not evil one of another; do not slander one another. (James 4:11)
Don’t say behind a person’s back what you wouldn’t say to their face, for tearing down is the devil’s work from start to finish.
4. Do not grumble against another. (James 5:8-9)
Stop passing judgment on one another. (Rom 14:13) (Rom 15:7)
Instead of complaining about others for how they are different than you, open your arms and accept them because God has accepted you both.
5. Live in harmony with one another. (1 Peter 3:8) (Rom 12:16)
Have equal concern for one another within the Church Body. (1 Cor. 13:25)
Appreciate the differences that there are between you. You are not meant to all be the same. Together you will be stronger than any one of you alone.
6. Forgive whatever grievances you may have toward one another. (Col 3:13)
Be the first to say you’re sorry and to give each other lots of slack because we are all a work in progress. Put away your little black books that keep track of the ways people have hurt you in the past. In the habit of forgiveness, offer one another a clean slate seventy times seven.
7. Confess your faults one to another. (James 5:15)
Be honest about your failures and weaknesses with each other. Break down the pretenses of strength and be vulnerable together.
8. Lie not to one another. (Colossians 3:8,9)
Don’t share only half of the story with each other, sharing only between one false mask and another. Share the real you and you can then find the freedom of being loved for who you really are!
In summary, may the badge of our fellowship be:
To have a genuine, other-preferring love for one another,
As we strive to remain bound together,
In a fellowship where all find strength and support,
Continually reaching across our natural barriers,
To remain as one.
May the Lord greatly increase your love for each other and for all people.