Do everything in love.
I. THE MODEL OF THE LIFE OF LOVE IS TO BE FOUND IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST. Who that reads the incomparable story of our Lord's earthly ministry can be insensible to this fact, which distinguishes that ministry from, and raises it above, every other life and work this world has witnessed? Love gleamed from his countenance, spoke in his tones, flowed from his presence, wrought by his hands. And love led him to his cross.
II. THE AUTHORITY FOR THE LIFE OF LOVE IS TO BE FOUND IN THE WORDS OF CHRIST. Again and again did the Saviour enjoin upon his disciples the virtue of brotherly love. It was his new commandment. It was his test of discipleship. Love to God and love to man constituted, according to him, the sum of obedience, righteousness, religion.
III. THE UNIVERSAL APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. It is too common to regard Christian charity as a grace to be displayed in certain relations and upon certain occasions. But this is not the New Testament idea. Love is to govern the whole life, and is to permeate the Christian society. There is no limitation in the language of the text: " Let all that ye do be done in love!" It is a lofty motive, a far-reaching principle. The precept is doubtless one not easy of application so general. Yet nothing less than its universal adoption and prevalence can satisfy the Lord of the kingdom.
IV. THE ADVANTAGES ACCRUING TO THE CHURCH FROM THE ADOPTION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. How different is the selfish principle adopted by the unchristian world, is at once apparent. This is a new, an antagonistic principle, yet, in its proper influence, the principle which is to pacify strife, to harmonize conflicting interests, to breathe new life into human society. "All ye are brethren" was the Master's explicit declaration concerning the members of his Church. "See how these Christians love one another!" was the exclamation of a surprised and admiring world.
V. THE IMPRESSION PRODUCED UPON THE WORLD BY THE PRACTICAL EMBODIMENT OF THIS PRINCIPLE. The world is doubtless impressed by the novelty, the beauty, the celestial dignity, of Christian doctrine. Yet the expression of that doctrine in the life of brotherly love is more effective; and the realization of Christ's idea, the fulfilment of Christ's law, will do more than all preaching to convince the world of the Divine mission of the Christ. - T.
Let all your things be done with charity.
(J. Ruskin.)I. THE SPIRIT OF IT is love.
II. THE APPLICATIONS OF IT is universal.
III. THE MOTIVE OF IT.
1. To promote peace and love.
2. Prevent strife and contention.
3. Subdue enmity and opposition.
(J. Lyth, D.D.)I. TO WHAT APPLIED. To all our —
5. Church activities.
II. FOR WHOM CONTEMPLATED, All our —
III. WITH WHAT RESULT. The promotion of all.
(J. W. Burn.)
I. MAKE US HAPPY in all our activities. The labour of love is the music of life. All labour, however menial, if wrought under the inspiration of love, must yield happiness.
II. MAKE US USEFUL in all our activities. Every work performed by love is beneficent, it has a brightness in it to enlighten, a balm in it to soothe, a music in it to charm, an aroma in it to please.
III. GIVE UNITY to all our activities. As the circulating sap binds the root, the trunk, and the branches, the leafage, blossoms, and fruit, into one organic unity, so love will give a harmony and completeness to all the numerous and varied acts of life. Why are men everywhere so unhappy in their labours, and their labours so socially pernicious, so disharmonious and divided? Because they are not animated and governed by this one spirit — love. The human labours of the world that spring from greed, ambition, vanity, blind impulse, envy, and resentment, keep individuals, communities, and nations in constant conflict and confusion.
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
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