Esteeming Our Brothers And Sisters

As the Lord often does, I was scheduled to post on another subject, but instead I was led to see the importance of this post, as how we can effectively  support our brothers in sisters in these very important last days.

Perhaps one of the most clear and divine words on “brotherly and sisterly love” is found in the much revealing — 1 Thes. 5:11 to 5:14. When I read it I was struck how much it really says in those verses. Let us read those words.  ” Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you warnings. And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men.”

Let’s take a closer look at what the above message is for us, particularly we’ll focus on the highlighted areas. As we know,  time is just about to close, as we know it. The next act upon the world will truly shake the world up.So it becomes very important that we, as brothers and sisters, take heed in our conduct towards each other. Let us read from God’s inspired writings how to love , respect and even honor each other — true “esteeming” one another, for the glory of God.

In the first highlight, we notice the point of “comforting each other”. This is paramount if we wish to show each other that we are indeed Christ’s disciples. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). This means we are courteous, attentive, and caring in our relations to each other.  I have said it many times, but one of the worse actions we can do as representatives of Christ, is to ignore a brother or sister.

Our King set the example by showing a comforting care for His people, never ignoring them, even on their questions. I have heard people say ‘Even Jesus didn’t answer every question asked of Him”. Those questions or concerns from a brother or sister were always answered. He did ignore some of the pharisee’s and ungodly men’s questions, yes. He saw through them as a trap or useless points of contention. Remember we are called “servants” which means to serve or help.

In the second highlight –edify one another, we can see that we are told to work with and teach each other. This is an important part of our relationship to each other as brothers and sisters, most especially in these last hours. In (2 Tim. 2:15) we read  “Study to show your self approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Here we see that our teaching and learning is in fact -our work. Instead of watching TV, seeing a movie, reading  a novel, are we active in our learning and teaching one another? Are  we punching in our timecard for that great Employer in heaven, whose payback is awesome?

EGW says the following concerning our studies and what we’re do do about it. “Those who walk in the light will see signs of the approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expectancy of the ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter His people in the day of visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help.” (Testimonies for the church, Vol.5, p.209)

Personally the Lord has convinced me of the importance of our work right now. As time is quickly running out. I even called my cable company and cut back the service to the bare minimum as I am finding I have very little time for distractions anymore, in favor of studying and spreading God’s end time message.  I look at soul winning now, as I used to in stock investment winning or property winning. “…Behold all things become new”(2 Cor. 5:17). Even our outlook on money.

On the next point “know them which labor among you” we see that we are instructed to get to know those who are co-workers in the message. We have such opportunities to get to know a fellow worker most likely in our church and internet groups (particularly Facebook). Infact Paul uses the words “we beseech you brethren…” in placing special emphasis on getting to know our co-workers.  We’ve all heard the phrase “no man is an island”, this most specially applies to our message work today.

As we set up our different bible study groups, within our churches or even the one on one correspondence in homes or internet,let’s keep foremost in mind that we are trying to win souls for Christ and as such we need to know who are co-workers are. Many times we may be stumped on some point or question and when we have many co-workers we know , we have a support team to fall back on.

Particularly you’ll notice we are told to get to know “those who have charge over you and give you warnings.” This is very important. Here the word charge doesn’t mean like a boss, or other worldly superior. It means get to know those who have more light or are “more studied” than you are in the last message from our Lord, in other word’s our leaders. We shouldn’t want to get to know those who are sending the same luke warm peace and safety everybody’s fine message. Why? Well Paul identifies who the well studied are —they give warnings! As we clearly know, we as the laodicean church need anything but lukewarm peace and safety messages  now.

Next we notice we are to  “Esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”  It basically is saying to hold in high regard those who are active in the work,  “love” them for it.  When we are very pleased with a brother or sister who is doing their share to uplift God’s word and message ,let’s love them for it. Sadly those who have not softened their hearts cannot “esteem” as shown here in God’s word. Instead some look for ways to criticize the work and workers.

EGW gives us some clear words of wisdom in this regard “Brethren, will you carry the Spirit of Christ with you as you return to your homes and churches? Will you put away unbelief and criticism? We are coming to a time when, more than ever before, we shall need to press together, to labor unitedly. In union there is strength.” (The Ellen White 1888 Materials, p.903)

The point about being united cannot be overstated. Let me give some specific examples. Let’s say you are involved in a group of like minded believers. You enjoy the studying and sharing but there is a certain one, you don’t really understand clearly. Instead of inquiring of them as to what they really mean on certain points you don’t understand or even disagree with, you instead hold inside a certain enmity(ill will) or even dislike for them. You even murmur on occasions. Is this the Christ like way to handle this situation?

Absolutely not, instead how about inquiring of them in a friendly manner “hey brother of sister,  you said …. and I don’t really understand it. Can you explain it more?” Why not clear the air? You just may find out that your understanding of their position is off and it’s not what you think. Again EGW says it beautifully   “Often if those who find fault knew the truth in regard to those whom they find fault, they would have an altogether different opinion of them.” (Test. for the church ,Vol. 8, p.83)

In the next highlight of our study we see we are to “warn the unruly”, this term in the hebrew is actually the “insubordinates”.This means those who fall out of line, who disrupt and generally cause division. In our Facebook group called Truth Tellers, we sometimes have members who join with the sole purpose of disproving our stated beliefs. It’s the pharisee type of questioning (entrapment) that shows us  a clear “out of order’ behavior, which we are careful to warn. So in a Christ like way we warn them.

As serious Christians it is good to ask questions to learn but when the answer has been shown clear from the inspired writings and the questioner doesn’t admit he or she sees the light. A serious problem exists. It shows that pride of being right is more important than the love of truth-not good. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(James 4:6)

How we handle being corrected speak volumes in our relationship with God. When I have been shown to be in error, I must accept it and move on. If I don’t my whole walk takes a serious detour and “self” becomes more important than Truth(our Lord)

Lastly, we see that the weaker ones among us, are to be supported. And that our patience should be toward all. Again we should be quick to care and attend to a brother or sister. Any aloofness must be dealt with in our character and tossed out like a dirty rag.

So in closing, may we learn to esteem our brothers and sisters and be united in our cause to speak our Lord’ s last day message of “present truth”. Our Lord prayed for our unity, let us not fail Him in this regard.

In  Christ, and Whose guidance makes this post possible, –Rob

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6 Responses to “Esteeming Our Brothers And Sisters”

  1. Mariela Says:

    This is so true… esteeming our brothers and sister sure make a big difference. Blessing!

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Yes indeed sister, our united cause is so important.

  3. anonymous Says:

    THANK YOU ROBERT

  4. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Blessings to you, thanks for taking the time to read our post.

  5. B. Albert Says:

    Amen, our great & kind brother. God has Blessed & will continue even more.

  6. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Time is short, we gotta do whatever we can to uplift each other. Thanks bro.

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