Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

By Benjamin H. Liles

          "Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”(Genesis 4:9, New King James).

          "[The older son] was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him’" (Luke 15:28-30, New King James).

          I wonder, truly, how long this nation is going to be in its free fall of hate towards anyone, anybody regardless their station, culture, or level of authority. Every day I hear things like, "Eminem rips Trump a new one," or hear about someone who says they love God but cannot obey the simplest of laws such as copyright infringement (this is an act of hate as well).

          So, what does this have to do with being a brother's keeper? What does it have to do with the elder son in the Prodigal Son parable? Speaking as a brother and how many times I mistreated my own sister it's a BIG deal. For starters, if you know better but you aren't doing any level of better, how does it look to a sibling that's younger and impressionable?

          This is partially where I'm going in regards to the Prodigal Son for the older son. He has always been in the presence of his father. He knows better. His brother has returned home from being lost and he's acting as though somehow he's been mistreated. That somehow he's been overlooked and trampled on.

          Currently, our society is looking like this due to the fact there are those who are being raised by God's hand. These people have been humbled in their spiritual poverty and are thus being renewed by God. Meanwhile, those who are witnessing this going on are incredulous and bewildered, acting like they have in some way been overlooked. Have we so far forgotten what love looks like that we trade that for hate?

          If we want God to invade our lives and on the level where we are changed we need to be our brother's keeper! We need a heart that's tender, merciful, compassionate and kind so that we can receive the blessings God has in mind for us. That blessing is His Son, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross so we are no longer under God's wrath, His justice. In His providence we now receive God's grace. So, we do have access to all God has for us. Therefore it is up to us, when those we love come back to God, need to see His love, not our hate.

          "If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (1 John 4:20, New King James).

          "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).

          "This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples" (John 15:8, Berean Study).

          If we want to say we love God our actions need to match that overall. We can't say we hate our brother, or anyone else, and say we love God. "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14, New American Standard).

          If we want God and others to see the fruit we proudly bear in and through our lives, we need to do those things that show He is active in our hearts and lives. Put off the hate for love. Change your hearts, and come to God asking His forgiveness. Be the one who's bigger and love others regardless what's done to you. Show His fruit to be evident in your lives, and in the same manner show you are doing God's commandments. For love fulfills all parts of the law. My our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, reveal all things to you by His matchless grace. In His name I pray. Amen.

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