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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 1

Chapter 26

Brotherly Love

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Love for Others Brings Joy.-I would say to my brethren everywhere: Cultivate the love of Christ! It should well up from the soul of the Christian like streams in the desert, refreshing and beautifying, bringing gladness, peace, and joy into his own life and into the lives of others.-Testimonies for the Church 5:565 (1889).

Example of Unselfish Love Irresistible.-The more closely we resemble our Saviour in character, the greater will be our love toward those for whom He died. Christians who manifest a spirit of unselfish love for one another are bearing a testimony for Christ which unbelievers can neither gainsay nor resist. It is impossible to estimate the power of such an example. Nothing will so successfully defeat the devices of Satan and his emissaries, nothing will so build up the Redeemer's kingdom, as will the love of Christ manifested by the members of the church.-Testimonies for the Church 5:167, 168 (1882).

Self May Obscure Love.-Love is an active principle; it keeps the good of others continually before us, thus restraining us from inconsiderate actions lest we fail of our object in winning souls to Christ. Love seeks not its own. It will not prompt men to seek their own ease and indulgence of self. It is the respect we render to I that so often hinders the growth of love.-Testimonies for the Church 5:124 (1882).

Humility Outgrowth of Love.-Love vaunteth not itself. It is a humble element; it never prompts a man to boast, to exalt himself. Love for God and for our fellowmen will not be revealed in acts of rashness or lead us to be overbearing, faultfinding, or dictatorial. Love is not puffed up. The heart where love reigns will be guided to a gentle, courteous, compassionate course of conduct toward others, whether they suit our fancy or not, whether they respect us or treat us ill.-Testimonies for the Church 5:123, 124 (1882).

True Love Self-effacing.-The devotion which God requires reveals itself in unfeigned love for the souls for whom Christ gave His life. Christ dwelling in the heart will be manifested by the love which He enjoins upon His disciples. His true children will prefer others to themselves. They do not seek for the lion's share at any time or in any place, because they do not look upon their talents as superior to those of their brethren. When this is indeed the case, the sign will be given in a revelation of the love which Christ manifested for the souls of men-an unselfish, unfeigned love, which preferred the welfare of others before His own.-MS 121, 1899.

Love Transforms Character.-To those who know not the truth, let the love of Jesus be presented, and it will work like leaven for the transformation of character.-Testimonies for the Church 8:60 (1904).

Selfish Love.-God would have His children realize that in order to glorify Him their affection must be given to those who most need it.... No selfishness in look, word, or deed is to be manifested when dealing with those of like precious faith, ... whether they be high or low, rich or poor. The love that gives kind words to only a few, while others are treated with coldness and indifference, is not love but selfishness. It will not in any way work for the good of souls or the glory of God. Our love is not to be sealed up for special ones, to the neglect of others. Break the bottle, and the fragrance will fill the house.-MS 17, 1899. (HC 231.)

Ability No Substitute for Love.-Talk, Pharisaism, and self-praise are abundant; but these will never win souls to Christ. Pure, sanctified love, such love as was expressed in Christ's lifework, is as a sacred perfume. Like Mary's broken box of ointment, it fills the whole house with fragrance. Eloquence, knowledge of truth, rare talents, mingled with love, are all precious endowments. But ability alone, the choicest talents alone, cannot take the place of love.-Testimonies for the Church 6:84 (1900).

Liberality a Proof of Love.-The proof of our love is given in a Christlike spirit, a willingness to impart the good things God has given us, a readiness to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice in order to help advance the cause of God and suffering humanity. Never should we pass by the object that calls for our liberality. We reveal that we have passed from death unto life when we act as faithful stewards of God's grace. God has given us His goods; He has given us His pledged word that if we are faithful in our stewardship, we shall lay up in heaven treasures that are imperishable.-The Review and Herald, May 15, 1900.

Giving Genuine Love a Sign of Discipleship.-No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellowmen is not a true disciple of Christ. Though he should possess great faith and have power even to work miracles, yet without love his faith would be worthless. He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God. In his zeal he might even meet a martyr's death, yet if not actuated by love, he would be regarded by God as a deluded enthusiast or an ambitious hypocrite.-The Acts of the Apostles, 318, 319 (1911).

The Heart in Which Love Rules.-The heart in which love rules will not be filled with passion or revenge, by injuries which pride and self-love would deem unbearable. Love is unsuspecting, ever placing the most favorable construction upon the motives and acts of others.-Testimonies for the Church 5:168, 169 (1882).

The activity of Satan's army, the danger that surrounds the human soul, calls for the energies of every worker. But no compulsion shall be exercised. Man's depravity is to be met by the love, the patience, the long-suffering of God.-Testimonies for the Church 6:237 (1900).

Corrects Peculiarities.-When man is a partaker of the divine nature, the love of Christ will be an abiding principle in the soul, and self and its peculiarities will not be exhibited.-Testimonies for the Church 6:52 (1900).

Only Love of Christ Can Heal.-Only the love that flows from the heart of Christ can heal. Only he in whom that love flows, even as the sap in the tree or as the blood in the body, can restore the wounded soul.-Education, 114 (1903).

Prepares for Every Eventuality.-Everyone who truly loves God will have the spirit of Christ and a fervent love for his brethren. The more a person's heart is in communion with God, and the more his affections are centered in Christ, the less will he be disturbed by the roughness and hardships he meets in this life.-Testimonies for the Church 5:483, 484 (1889).

Brotherhood Never Gained Through Compromise.-Those who love Jesus and the souls for whom He has died will follow after the things which make for peace. But they must take care lest in their efforts to prevent discord they surrender truth, lest in warding off division they sacrifice principle. True brotherhood can never be maintained by compromising principle. As Christians approach the Christlike model and become pure in spirit and action they will feel the venom of the serpent. The opposition of the children of disobedience is excited by a Christianity that is spiritual.... That peace and harmony which are secured by mutual concessions to avoid all differences of opinion are not worthy of the name. On points of feeling between man and man, concessions should sometimes be made; but never should one iota of principle be sacrificed to obtain harmony.-The Review and Herald, January 16, 1900.

Divine Love Impartial.-Christ came to this earth with a message of mercy and forgiveness. He laid the foundation for a religion by which Jew and Gentile, black and white, free and bond, are linked together in one common brotherhood, recognized as equal in the sight of God. The Saviour has a boundless love for every human being. In each one He sees capacity for improvement. With divine energy and hope He greets those for whom He has given His life.-Testimonies for the Church 7:225 (1902).

Enfolds Human Brotherhood in God's Embrace.-Sanctified love for one another is sacred. In this great work Christian love for one another-far higher, more constant, more courteous, more unselfish, than has been seen-preserves Christian tenderness, Christian benevolence, and politeness, and enfolds the human brotherhood in the embrace of God, acknowledging the dignity with which God has invested the rights of man. This dignity Christians must ever cultivate for the honor and glory of God.-Lt 10, 1897. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 5:1140, 1141.)

Your Love for Souls Measures Your Love for God.-The love revealed in Christ's life of self-denial and self-sacrifice is to be seen in the lives of His followers. We are called "so to walk, even as He walked."... It is our privilege to stand with the light of heaven upon us. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. It was no easier for Enoch to live a righteous life than it is for us at the present time. The world in his time was no more favorable to growth in grace and holiness than it is now.... We are living in the perils of the last days, and we must receive our strength from the same source. We must walk with God....

God calls upon you to put all your strength into the work. You will have to render an account for the good you might have done had you been standing in the right position. It is time you were co-workers with Christ and the heavenly angels. Will you awake? There are souls among you who need your help. Have you felt a burden to bring them to the cross? Bear in mind that just the degree of love you have for God you will reveal for your brethren, and for souls who are lost and undone, out of Christ.-The Review and Herald, January 9, 1900.

Perfect Love in the Church, the Aim of Christ.-Jesus could have flashed bright beams of light on the darkest mysteries of science, but He would not spare a moment from teaching the knowledge of the science of salvation. His time, His knowledge, His faculties, His life itself, were appreciated only as the means of working out the salvation of the souls of men. O what love, what matchless love!

Contrast our tame, lifeless, half-paralyzed efforts with the work of the Lord Jesus. Listen to His words, to His prayer to the Father, "I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26). What language is this! How deep, how broad, how full! The Lord Jesus desires to shed abroad His love through every member of the body, His church, that the vitality of that love may circulate through every part of the body and dwell in us as it dwells in Him. The Lord then can love fallen man as He does His own Son; and He declares that He will be satisfied with nothing less than this in our behalf.-MS 11, 1892.