There are many examples of love in the old testament: Ruth’s love for Naomi (book of Ruth); Jacobs love for Rachael (Genesis 29:1-28) and even physical love between King Solomon and His wife (Song of Solomon). Perhaps the greatest example is the love between David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:3,4). Their love for each other gives us the perfect example of how we should love our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
The scriptures tell us that Jonathan loved David “as his own soul.” His was a pure and sincere love that was as great as he loved his own soul. That is a love that is deeper than most and was of a spiritual nature as everlasting and essential as, not himself, but his soul. Do we love our brethren as sincerely and deeply as Jonathan loved David?
1 Peter 1:22 tells us: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” This suggests that our love for one another (brethren includes both brothers and sisters in Christ) should be as important as our obedience to the gospel and that we should love each other as much as we love our soul and its salvation.
This is how Jonathan loved David and he proved that love by making a pact with him and by risking his own life to see to the safety of David when Saul sought to kill him. Jonathan put David ahead of his own ambitions, since he wished to place David on the throne of Israel instead of receiving the throne himself as an inheritance from his father.
Do we place the well being of our brethren ahead of our own desires and aspirations? Philippians 2:3,4 tells us: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
This is the attitude that Jonathan and David had toward one another and is how we must act toward our brethren. We are to consider the other better than ourselves and look after the interests of our brethren as diligently as we look after our own. This is how we can love one another with a sincere and pure heart, that mirrors, although it cannot equal, the love that God has for us.
We must note, that selfish ambition and conceit has no place in our dealings with one another and should not be found in the church. If we attempt to serve God with either of these attitudes our efforts will surely fail as our brethren can see through us and our love is not sincere, neither do we not esteem the other better than ourselves.
If we can love our brethren as our own soul, as Jonathan and David cared for one another, we can serve God as He intends by having the spiritual relationships that will help us get to heaven. We must work and pray in the church, so that all of the brethren we know and work with, can go to heaven together. If we truly want this as much as we want to go to heaven ourselves, it can be said that we love the brethren as we love our own soul.
May God bless and keep you until next time.