We are inundated in our culture with romance--finding true love is the ultimate purpose in life, at least according to Hollywood.
The Bible says something different. God says that the highest love is the love between the Lord and his adopted sons and daughters. We are part of a Forever Family when we become Christians.
While most Christians hope they will find their true love and get married, their higher love is Jesus. He is our First Love.
If we are married, we should do everything to keep our romantic love alive. In the same way, we should focus on our love relationship with Jesus, stirring up passion and devotion in our own hearts. There are many ways to do this, but I am going to concentrate on the role that our Christian brothers and sisters play in increasing our love for God.
The main reason that we have brothers and sisters in Christi is to spur one another on to love and good deeds, to encourage one another in the Lord, and to help each other grow in the faith. So how do we do that?
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deed, not forsaking our own assembling together, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB).
How do we spur one another on to love and good deeds?
How do we encourage one another?
How do we help each other to grow up in our faith?
First of all, we hold fast to Jesus and the truth about our salvation and who we are in Christ. As we meet together regularly, we dig into God's Word and learn more about our faith with one another. We can encourage one another in Bible studies, before and after meetings, through texts, on Facebook, during phone calls, when we hang out, and when we worship.
Marla, Steven, and Julianna helped one another stay close to Jesus in college when they were surrounded by unbelievers and professors who tried to undermine their faith. They ate lunch together, studied together, and reached out to people together. Steven even got Creation Science books into the library. They are still friends today, though each one works in a different company and they still encourage each other in the Lord.
The closer we are, the more we know one another, and the easier it is to encourage and exhort one another. As we build close friendships, brothers and sisters become dear friends and everybody wins by growing closer to Jesus.
So you see, that in addition to holding fast to Jesus, we must carefully choose who we hang out with because who we build friendships with, will impact our lives for good or bad.
"He who walks with men grows wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm," (Proverbs 13:20 NASB).
"Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call o the Lord from a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22 NASB).
Jack started hanging out with some Christians at work who were struggling to obey God's Word. Soon he was falling away from reading the Bible and prayer. He began to fall further and further away from the Lord until he felt disgusted. He realized he wasn't helping his friends grow closer to God by doing the same things they were doing. Instead, he spent more time with strong Christian friends and guess what happened? His work friends started growing in the Lord, too. He was able to influence them positively, instead of falling into their bad habits.
One of the most important things parents can do is teach their teens to value brothers and sisters in Christ. If teens have close guy friends and girl friends who love Jesus, they will grow in the Lord.
If you are a teen or young adult, invest in friendship with sisters and brothers who love the Lord. Their role in your life is invaluable. Invest in others to help them grow up in Christ. You will reap what you sow.
Even after we get married, our spouse is still our brother or sister in Christ. Everything we talked about still applies. We want to encourage one another and spur one another on to love and good deeds. You might be surprised to learn that those who are build each other up in marriage as brother and sister in the Lord, enjoy more romance and more tender love. As we press into Jesus, he blesses us with abundant life!
Powerline Productions offers amazing resources to build these precious relationships. One credit high school classes such as Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & Family and God's Girls 103: Courtship, Marriage, & the Christian Family can be used one-on-one with a parent or in a co-op setting. They not only help build healthy brother-sister relationships, but prepare teens to have a healthy marriage in the future. Real Men 102 is available in print at Amazon and as an E-book at PayHip. God's Girls 103 in print can be purchased at Amazon and as an E-book at PayHip.
Other resources include Bible studies such as Real Men Talk about Freedom, Girls, & Marriage Bible Study, God's Girls Talk about Guys, Virtue, and Marriage Bible Study, Friends to the End Bible Study, and God's Girls Friends to the End Bible Study. Each of these books is available in print at Amazon and as an E-book at PayHip.
We are pleased and excited to announce that both Real Men 102 and God's Girls 103 are part of the 2017 Build Your Bundle Sale in the Brothers/Sisters Bundle.
Please share how you are enjoying your brother and sister relationships in the Body of Christ in the comments below.
For His Glory,