Amid growing evil, never forget to live a life of love
In a world filled with increasing evil and depravity, where the thoughts of many men's hearts are "only evil all the
time"—just as in the days of Noah before the flood—it's easy for Christians to develop cold, judgmental, and
even harsh attitudes about the world around them.
It's easy for us to forget to be compassionate, to forget to be people of love.
Forgetting this is usually a sign that we've forgotten something else, even more vital: that
we were once in sin, and that it was the love, compassion, and forgiveness of Christ that saved us.
...and [add to your] brotherly kindness, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why are we saved? Because of love and compassion—which overflows first from God and Christ, cascades
into our own hearts, and pours out from there to the hearts of others. The Bible says:
But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
(2 Pet 1:7-9)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
So, if we are truly His adopted children, and wish to reap the enormous inheritance of our heavenly Father, we must strive to emulate His behavior:
(2 Cor 1:3-4)
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
So he began teaching them many things.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Let's resolve to be compassionate, patient, and helpful toward those around us.
In so doing, not only will we be living as Christ directed, our example to the world will
be more like it should be.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Love certainly doesn't replace the other commandments of God (for we show our love to Him by obeying Him), but it is the greatest of all Christian characteristics.
Therefore it's impossible to lack proper love and still be a true Christian.
I close with a few excerpts from 1 Corinthians 13:
...if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, and love is not jealous.
Love does not boast and it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not selfish, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in unrighteousness but delights in the truth....
These three now remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.