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EMOTIONS, part  13 - Love  Shown  to  Non-Family  Members...cont  quotes

1)    Love for Friends

     “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24.

     If we want to have friends, especially close friends, then we must show ourselves friendly by spending time in their company.

2)   How are we to treat our friends?

     “A friend loveth at all times”. Proverbs 17:17.

     “To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend”. Job 6:14.

     “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3.

     These verses reveal that we are to love and care for our friends, not just during the good times, but especially during the bad times when they really need our friendship and love.

3)   What should we do if our friends happen to mistreat us in some way?

     “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very (or close)  friends.” Proverbs 17:9.

     “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”  Proverbs 10:12.

     These verses reveal that when friends mistreat us, we are not to let others know what they have done, but keep their mistreatment covered until we personally sought to work it out between us two.

     “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend....Faithful are the wounds of a friend....Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.” Proverbs 27:17, 6, 9.

4)   What should we do if we fail to help our friends change, and they turn against us?

     “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.  But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.  By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.  And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.  Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.” Psalms 41:9-13.

     “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” Proverbs 9:7-8.

     “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48.

     If our friends decide not to change for the better, or even turning traitor against us, we are to stop reproving them, but also continue loving them by doing good to them.  This means that we are to avoid treating them as they are treating us, and pray to God for them until He tells us to stop.

5)   Until our friend changes, we are no longer to seek to be in their company or connected with them, but to leave them in the hands of God.

     “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:14-21.

     “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:8-11.

6)   Love for Strangers

     Strangers do not just represent someone you do not know, but more fully applies to those who are foreigners or aliens to your community.  And how are we to reveal true unselfish Godly love for strangers?

     “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:19.

     “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.  But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 10:33-34.

     These verses reveal that instead of ignoring, shying away from, or even mistreating strangers and foreigners among us, we are to love them as ourselves - “as one born among you”!  

7)   As we are to treat strangers as if they had lived among us all their lives, then what are some ways in which we can actively reveal our love for all strangers?

     “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.  And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:9-10.

     This shows that we are to share with these strangers some of the bountiful blessings that God has showered upon us.  If we truly follow God’s will to actively reveal our love for strangers and foreigners among us, then we may just find that some of these strangers are not ordinary at all.

     “And there came two angels [strangers] to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.  And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.” Genesis 19:1-3.

     This incident continues on in Genesis 19:4-9 and reveals that Lot protected these complete strangers from all physical harm even though endangered his most dearest possessions – his daughters – and even his own life!  Lot revealed that he loved these strangers as himself, and thereby showed the true Godly form of self-denying and self-sacrificing love!  And because Lot revealed such unselfish love for these strangers, God rewarded and blessed Lot by allowing him and his family to escape from being destroyed along with the wicked (Genesis 19:12-25)!  God will surely do the same with us, if we show the same loving concern for the welfare of strangers who come into our midst!

     “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2.