1 John 4:7
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;13 distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
In 1 Timothy, Paul tells Timothy that he is to instruct those in the church to treat each other like fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. The church is like a family. There should be a natural love and affection one toward another. In place of strife should be self-sacrifice. Instead of conflict should be compassion. The church should be a place that in the kindness and joy of a familial relationship everyone exists for the good of everyone else.
When Paul writes to Titus, in Titus 3:12-13, it is clear that his heart for the men he mentions here is that of brotherly love. Paul was constantly training young men to do the ministry, and he was concerned for their well-being long after he had finished training them and had sent them away. Here, Paul is dispatching Artemas or Tychicus to the church in Crete. It was going to be the job of Titus to make sure they were settled and taken care of so that he could travel to see Paul.
As Artemas or Tychicus would serve in place of Titus, Titus was to get in touch with his brothers, Zenas and Apollos. Paul’s specific command for them was “that nothing be wanting unto them.” In essence, “whatever they need, make sure they get it.” This was not an every man for himself mindset. Here, Paul was interested in the well-being of Zenas and Apollos, and he instructed Titus that he should be concerned about their welfare as well. The church family should take care of one another. Every member of the family should exhibit and receive the love of Christ.
How do we do with this today? Perhaps busyness or materialism or entertainment has caused us to be so self-absorbed that we fail to care for the needs of the other Christians around us. Do we endeavor to make sure that “nothing is wanting” in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ? James wrote in his epistle, “True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction.” In essence, those in need should be taken care of by the church. May we see ourselves as the church, and may we desire to provide and care for the needs of those around us. As God has loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Reflect: What are some specific ways that you can show the familial love of Christianity to other believers?