Considering the importance of brotherly love in our Christian race, and the recent happenings in our immediate environment,
and the world at large, it has become pertinent to re-echo, and re-emphasize the need for peace, unity and love among
Christians, and indeed among men of every race and faith. In doing this, we are very much aware of all the factors that militate
against out peaceful co-existence, but wish to point us to the fact that, in the midst of all our differences, we are commanded to give godly peace and love a chance “FOR WE ARE BROTHERS”.
Genesis13:5-9 -Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possession were so great that they were not able to stay together.
And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.
Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I ‘ll go to the right, if you go the right, I ‘ll go to the left.”
We are commanded by God “ to strive to live as one,” but all too often the striving seems easier than the living. Unity, strife, harmony,
and discord are all parts of most relationships they are part of life in community. Disagreement, arguments, and discussions
are as much a part of a marriage or long-standing friendship as are consensus, sharing, accord, and harmony. We would hope that our relationships are filled with the
positives much more than the negatives, but life is not that simple and carefree as to exclude them.
But strife, contention, conflict, and discord are the very opposite of what God wants in his children. “Let nothing be done through strife
or vainglory.” (phil.2:3.) “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that the gender strife. (11Tim. 2:23.) “let us walk
honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in the chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”(Roman.13:17.)
How do we live as one, in unity and in harmony in the face of the many force that would drive apart?
Can we set self aside long enough and far enough to really walk in another’s shoes and keep their best interest at heart, just because
of that which binds us together We are brothers?
Abram took his nephew with him when he left his father in Haran. They had traveled several hundred miles together already, but they
journey on together into Canaan, Egypt, and back into Canaan. Along they had cared for their herds and seen them increase in number
such that they recognized that they would be forced to make a difficult decision. They had to decide between unity and harmony, togetherness and peace.
Abram and lot seemingly had no quarrel with each other. They did not desire evil or malice toward one another. They had no desire in
inflict pain or gain superiority over the other. They recognized, however that the size of their herd made it difficult to share the same
grazing land and water supplies, without causing conflict among their herdsman who will man continue clashing over supply for the
flock under their charge. At this point, is anyone listening to or reading this massage surprise to know that what religious leaders
fight over is not the fruit of their own labour, but the flock and their own recourses that God has provided.
Have you ever pondered at why the killing and destruction of life in the name of politics? It is not over who controls what God has blessed
the nation with? Man has turn God’s providence and blessings to object of discord, hatred and violence. I believe that God has
enough to go around only if we be a little selfishness, accept and treat each other as brothers.
In respond to the growing crisis among their herdsman and toward off crisis between Abram and lot, Abram proposed that they part company.
It was a decision born of a desire to maintain peace, unity, love, and harmony, though I am sure it brought about its own share of pain as well.
We do not know all the story of the strife, nor how to guage Lot’s responsibility in the circumstances.
We find, however, that Abram takes action to resolve the conflict that has begun among the herders, approaching Lot with a gracious offer of resolution.
Abram said to Lot,” Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between you herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.”
The phrase “we are brothers,” indicates a special relationship; a relationship of kinship; of things which are shared in common; of
blood relationship; a family relationship. In Ex. 2:11, it refers to fellow countrymen. A brother could be an ally (Amos 1:9), member of the same tribe (2sam.19:12), of the same moral
likeness and kinship (Prov. 18:9), of friends, of equal in rank or office (1King 9:13). The term is used to signify spiritual kinship as in 1Cor. 1:1.
It is a term adopted by the early Christians to express their fraternal love for each other in Christ, and universal adopted as the language
of love and brotherhood in Christ’s Kingdom in subsequent times (2Peter 3: 15; Col. 4:7,9,15).
The growing conception of mankind as a brotherhood is the outcome of this Christian view of believers as a household, a family (Eph.2:19, 3:15).
Jesus has made neighbor equivalent to brother, and the sense fraternal affection and obligation essential to vital Christian and
coexistence with the world. The rabbis distinguished between brother and, applying brother to Israel by blood, and neighbor to
proselytes, but allowing neither title to the gentiles. But Christ and the apostle gave the name brother to all Christians and neighbor to the entire world (1cor. 5:11, Luke 10:29ff).
In fact, the missionary passion and aggressiveness of the Christian church is the natural product of this Christian conception
of man true relation to man. Men who believe in living a holy life are breathed and we should be united in holy fellowship.
Let us consider the reasonableness of Abrams action. He is the elder, the one who bears God’s promise, and so he is the one
who chose, and leads the expedition. By any known tradition of men, Abram should be the one calling the shot. In the case of any
disagreement, he is the one to be appeased. Should there be anything to be shared; he should take the lions share. Abram had every
reason to show lot how much muscle he has gotten. Lot should wait for his own time. However, this was not the case. What Abram
did should not make any sense to the carnal man. No human tradition would advocate such an action.
Ordinary, no one would like to give away his or her right. By this action Abram chose to be foolish in the eye of men so as to be wise before God.
He understands that something’s the way to peace may defile certain norms. He understands that not all that is good may be right.
He would have chosen the part of what was good, and what should be, but he chose the way of a wider interest, for we are brothers.
When one occupies a positions of power, When it is your right to kill and destroy, when the fate of others is in your hand, when you
have absolutely power and immunity, either given or arrogated, before using such powers,
look around for the recipients of such use of power may be your brothers, who may be related to you bloodily, tribally, politically,
religiously or otherwise. Remember, whatever we do to our brothers today, they may save
for their nephew and niece for tomorrow. Don’t forget whose children those nephews and nieces are.
While lot’s attitude seems somewhat selfish in respond to Abraham’s offer, the rest of the
story establishes Abram’s integrity in doing all possible to seek after lot’s best interest. Abram offers lot his choice of direction. Lot
seems all too willing to choose the best for himself, while his uncle gives him the freedom to choose unselfishly, Abram could work for
reconciliation and harmony, even giving up his own best interest, because of his trust that God will care for his needs. He accepted God’s care and provision. He accepted the price of letting go in order to receive what God had in store. As a young christian whose
husband’s stipend is very small when it comes to taking care of the family needs but still, the grace of God is sufficient to us.
However, I am baffled when some public servant whose monthly income are higher thin by over five thousand percent still
embezzle funds that are meant for that such people have lost hope in the ability of God to care for them. They believe that if they do not
amass wealth by all means, they will have a tough future after their present careers. Between we are brothers, I want to remind
such people that the God whose grace is more than sufficient for me, has enough grace that than depend on. Man’s life and
fame does not depend on the abundance of his wealth, but on quality of his relationships both with God and men. It was unselfishness
that would allow Abram to walk for peace, trusting God to meet his needs. As was the case with Abram and lot, God has endured us with enough that each of us should have
enough to live on and live comfortably. It is a life of selfishness that put a wealthy nation
on the list of poor nations, and make citizen live like chicks struggling for few grains of corn. When we let brotherly love rule, God’s providence abounds.
Apart from enjoying Gods’ bounty, there is another cogent reason for dealing with one another as brothers. In john’s gospel chapter
13:35, Jesus say’s “by this all men will known that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In the days of Abram and lot, the Canaanites and the perizzities were in the land and that is one of the reasons why Abram was interested
in showing a united front with lot. Abram understands that any quarrel between him and lot will create an avenue for the ungodly to penetrate.
He understand that when outsider decide the fate of brothers, the only succeed in creating more gaps between the brothers, the brothers
and sisters of the Canaanite and perizzities are in the land today and that reason is just as valid now for a united front among all true
members of God’s family. The “Canaanites” and the “perizzities” are looking on. Today there is strife upon the earth and, worst of all,
that strife is found among the people of God. To name the instigators and point out the projectors we have no intention; but against
the facts of its existence and the havoc that it plays with the church of our Lord, lines are dedicated.
When brothers strive, that gives the enemies of God their chance. The sin against the body of Christ weakens that body in the face of the
hostility of the world. “But if ye bite and devour one of another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of anther” (Gal. 5:15).
Some of us act as if this scripture is binding only upon members of our congregation or denomination.
But I believe that this scripture is binding upon all the members of the body of Christ. If a man believers in Christ, he is my brother
and the least I can do and keep the letter or spirit of this scripture is to refrain from attacking and antagonizing him.
If there is one thing that has married the testimony of the Lord’s people down through
time it is the problem of personalities. Even a matter that involves the neglect or abandonment of a foundational principle can
and should be resolved without compromise, yet amicably, where there is a willingness to deal with it according to scripture and in the
light of the fact that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Yet, sadly, we persist in doing the adversary’s work by dividing from
brother from brother and assembly from assembly. The individual testimony is harmed or lost and the collective testimony is weakened or married. This fact is true of our
wider family and brotherhood. When a tribe fights against itself, the other tribes watch and seek ways to penetrate the rants and
files of the warring tribe. When we allow personal interest to overtake our tribal and national interest, let’s be reminded that those
who do not mean us well are watching, and are ready to capitalize on our selfishness to destroy us.
Jesus’ words in Matthew speak to the issue of peace and harmony. (Matthew 5:17-26). On the surface, they are words about anger
and law and adultery and the like. At heart, however, they are about the principle of unselfishness and trusting God rather than
our own devices. It is the gospel of doing for others, rather than for self.
The concern of the scribes and Pharisees with observing the law and finding ways to circumvent the Torah’s intent while following
its letter had little to do with God’s will. Their concern was with self. They worried after their own pleasure, their own will, and their own desires. They looked for ways to ignore
the commandments and hold themselves above recrimination. If the law instructed them not to walk over a mile on the Sabbath,
they could send a servant ahead of them with a household item, in order that they might travel on and be within the prescribed
distance from home. If the law required that they honor their parents, they might claim the care of other own in order to fulfill the Prescription and ignore the commandment.
Jesus classified this matter of life as selfish and unworthy of the good news of God’s kingdom. He preached that we are to give up
self in deference to others. It was in these terms that Jesus spoke about anger. Jesus classified anger as the equivalent to murder.
It is the equivalent in that anger elevates one’s own interest to the point of excluding those of another. Jesus counsels that we give
up on give up on anger, pettiness, the pursuits of rights and privilege, as being unworthy
pursuits. Anger and lawsuit and insult are destructive means to attempt to elevate our self by putting the needs and cares of others beneath our own.
The torah was never so much about the right of the people, but about their responsibilities. They were to put God first, then holds other
as there equals. Anger is most often the byproduct of putting self ahead of others. When we act to push forward our own
agenda, issues and desires, we are acting under the same impulse of anger. We place our self ahead of the line, distrusting God and stepping on any in our way. Jesus called that
kind of anger the equivalent of murder. On the inside, it has accomplished the same result . We obliterate the other person along with their desire, needs, and worth in order to
elevate our self with our own agenda.
Love, unity, and harmony are about giving, not taking. To live as one requires that we lay
aside our own agendas, goals, ambitious, and desires to protect the best interests of others. For Abram, it became necessary to Part
Company with lot. Decision seems to have backfired as regards his choice of company, but Abram gave anyway, and he kept on
giving. With no strings attached. If only lot had learned to do the same.
Perhaps that is why unity is so hard, after all. In the final analysis, it is easy to seek unity and harmony when I get my own way. I like
unity, harmony and peace as long as I get to call the shots. The problem comes when I have to give someone else an option that will not in my own best interest. How will I respond then?
Jesus responded to anger regarded Himself in grace. He gave. He fed. He healed. He warned. Then he lay down his life for others.
He confronted injustice and the errors of the Pharisees and scribes, and yet He welcomed them. He called the disciples, but gave them
the option to decide their own coursed. Will we strive to live 3 as one? It might cost more than we bargained. What we willingly to give.
As member of the household of God, we are member of one another meaning that we already have a relationship because we are
part of Christ’s body. We are to be devoted to one another, which mean that we are to develop a tender affection for each other that
includes commitment to the wellbeing of others. We are to honor one another meaning that we recognize the value of others before God. We are to think the same towards one
another meaning that we recognized other people as fellow recipients of God’s grace. We are to accept one another just as Christian accepted us as creatures in need of his grace.
We are to warn one another when we see spiritual danger approaching. we are to greet one another with a ‘holy kiss’. This means to
acknowledge the presence of a person in a way that appreciates their value of God. We are to serve one another, which is illustrated by washing of another’s feet. We are to
conceder other’s more important than ourselves, we are to bear the burdens of one another, which mean’s to help those deals
with sin in their life. We are to bear with one another which mean to be patient with each other. We are to submit to another which
means that we recognize others need first. We are to encourage one another which involve helping them when they are spiritually
down. We are to be peace with one another. This means that we are not to stir up trouble by our actions or opinions. We are to confess
our sin to one another. This involves the people whom we have wronged, and is done to bring peace to relationships that have harmed.
Weare to pray for one another. We are to forgive us. We are to seek well for one another meaning that we desire each person
to have closer relationship with God. We are to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
This involves thinking about how others may be helped and urging them to action. We are to eagerly await one another which refers to a
joyy of association with other believers. We are to be kind to one another which involves the removal of bitterness, anger, and desire to harm others.
We are to care for one another which means we are concerned for other members of the body of Christ. We are to recognize one
another’s service. We should not serve for the purpose of man’s recognition, but honor within God’s family recognizes each other’s service.
We are to show hospitality to one another. This means that we should welcome
stranger’s into our assemblies. We are to be humble toward one another which refer to our attitude concerning each other. We are to
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build up one another which involves encouragement and instruction to others.
Dear people of God, this is true Christianity. This is true governance. This is political leadership. This is good citizenship. This is to
be done not lording it over those entrusted to us, but remembering that no matter our differences in class, level, affluence and
position, no matter our size, tribe, faith and other ideologies, We Are Brothers.