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A parachute instructor jumped out of plane with a student skydiver at 12,000 feet. When the student pulled the ripcord, his parachute did not open. He was about to die. Then just before hitting the ground, the teacher rolled over so he hit the ground first, and the student landed on top of him. The teacher died instantly; the student fractured his spine, but lived. Most of us will never face this kind of selfless test. Still, the Apostle John urges God’s people to love our brothers and sisters genuinely. In 1 John 3, He cites Cain’s murder of his brother, Abel, as a monument of self-love — of self-centeredness. By contrast, he says, the cross of Christ is a demonstration of divine-love. Rather than living out the self-centered love that Cain had, John urges us to follow the unselfish example of our Lord Jesus. God’s love that makes us rich also makes us debtors — to God and to others — to seek the welfare of others, even if they are unworthy, unthankful, or even rebellious. People who genuinely know Jesus Christ are conscious of their kinship with other believers, and they show it by their love of each other. God wants us to love those in our homes, and in our church families. In addition, our love should overflow to others — other races, classes, or ethnic groups.

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