Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Do We?

1 John 3:11-18 – For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because hi sown deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised brother, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. BY this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

To answer the question identifying the theme of today’s nugget, let today’s scripture “fill in the blanks.” It is dominant throughout 1 John. It is also found in Jesus’ upper room discourse in John’s gospel chapters 13 through 17, and particularly in our Lord giving the New Commandment – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). The answer to the two word question “Do we?” is “love one another.” Let’s break this down in two directions: first a caution of easily saying “yes” without thorough self-examination affirming “yes” in our loving one another. The other is providing the evidence to either encourage us we are loving God’s people or directing us how to start.

First, don’t be quick to say, “Yes, I love other’ Christians”  and then just move on. The worst form of deception is not from the devil but ourselves and James tells how that works – but be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22). We may apply this “doing of the Word” in two directions: negative and positive. We will provide the positive in the next part of the nugget directing us on how to love in an active way. For now, the negative of loving other Christians by doing the Word is at least in two ways: we don’t talk negatively about them meaning no gossip, slander, or unedifying speech is ever spoken to another person about another Christian. This is Apostle Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting speech come from you but only that which builds up. If we can freely talk down another Christian, attack their spirituality, and character with hearsay and hateful speech, we are not loving. We are betraying the very trait Jesus said would identify His true people. The second negative way we obey the Word and demonstrate love for God’s people is harboring no critical or bitter attitudes or thoughts toward them, even if we have been sinned against or hurt. Remember in God’s eyes, our thoughts are words before Him. But Now, the positive…

Next, to validate we do love God’s people, be doers of the Word by positive steps. By the way , that cannot happen in an hour or two on a Sunday morning and at a distance. Love demands investment of time, energy, and oneself. To love God’s people biblically means we invest in them spiritually (Romans 1:11-2). We encourage them regularly (Hebrews 3:13). We serve them sacrificially (1 John 3:16-18). We forgive them always and unconditionally (Ephesians 4:32). And there are more things in being a doer of the Word validating we truly love God’s people. Check out the over 50 one another commands in the Scripture. That is how are to love. May God help us do so!

Prayer: “Father, may the love You have shown me be the love that I show to others and especially Your people.”
Quote: ” We simply cannot profess Christ, praise Christ, and proclaim Christ sincerely if we are not loving HIs people.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Job