TO LOVE HIM IS TO LOVE ALL
Friday, 3 August 2018
1 John 3 : 1-24
“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us...”-1 John 3: 23
When we read this chapter, the one theme that stands out is LOVE. First we see the love of our Heavenly Father who justifies us, when we believe in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to make us right with Him and then He calls us His children(V1 “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God..” ). Next we see Apostle John exhorting us to love God through obedience, and to love others through our right actions. This kind of love is actually a continued sanctification process— because our brethren whom we love, we will not hurt or hinder or hate but will want to encourage, support and help to reach the mutual goal of Christ-likeness.
Let us take a look at the two steps in this process:
Loving God helps us to keep His Commandments: “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.”(V24) When Jesus lays out the most important commandment for mankind, He starts with loving the LORD with ALL our heart (Mark 12:30). The area of our heart covers those powerful emotions, affections, will and desires which steer our lives. The condition of our heart is measured by what occupies our time and thoughts, motivates our actions and shapes our aspirations. Wherever these affections are found, there our hearts will be also (Matthew 6:21).
If our heart is turned away from Christ, then with the help of the Holy Spirit we have to re-train our:
Desires – to conform to those which please and honour God
Affections – to love those things that God loves
Purposes – to pursue that which God would have us pursue
Will – to choose that which is good and godly
Feelings – to subject them to the truth of God’s Word
Character – to pursue holiness, godliness, and purity
Thoughts – to meditate on the truth of God’s Word
Thus we will abide in Him and He in us which in turn will help us love others.
Loving others through right deeds: “Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (V18). A few practical steps:
Pray for Them (James 5:16): Pray and seek God's action in their lives and see God respond.
Place Them First (Phil. 2:3): Self-denial helps us lay aside our interests so that someone else may experience blessing. Its not just in offering monetary help but giving yourself and your time, which is real sacrifice.
Accept & Seek Their Good (1Thess. 5:15): Accept people even if they are different or difficult and seek their betterment
Forgive and Ask for Their Forgiveness (Col. 3:13): Ask for forgiveness when you hurt others and freely forgive others also.
Be Generous (1 John 3:17): God blesses us to be a blessing; so be a good steward by sharing.
Speak the Truth (Eph. 4:25): Speak the truth out of a sense of concern and compassion.
Encourage (1Thess. 5:11): Love doesn't flatter but encourages. A word in season offered to both-the lost: to be found and the found: to keep them from drifting.
We have come to know the love of God through Jesus Christ who laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16); so let us also love our brethren like Him for we have been saved by God’s love (Rom. 5:8) and saved to love others (1 Peter 1:22).
Think On: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
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