Love for one another is not a natural part of our inner selves; we learn about love from God, who was willing to give up His only Son to redeem us.
11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. . . Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 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? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
We should have love for one another. How hard can that be? Actually, I think this is one of the hardest things we are commanded to do; we are born naturally hating one another or at the very least, being incredibly selfish. If you don't think this is true, just observe what happens when you are with a group of people and one person leaves the group. Suddenly the whole group seems to turn on them - even their best friends.
Now, think of the people you know - just pick one out and think about them. Are you more apt to think of all of the good things they do, or do you start to think of their faults first?
Love for one another is not a natural part of our inner selves; we learn about love from God, who was willing to give up His only Son to redeem us. True love acts totally out of complete concern for the other person while neglecting oneself.
Just as we have this example of love from God, so should we have that kind of love for others. As a society we are pretty callous about the needs of others, but where does society begin? It begins with us! Look at 1 John 3:17.
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?
Whoa! That's a little too personal! We just don't feel that obligation. First of all, there are too many people in need, so how could we possibly help them all? Secondly, that's what the government is for, right? Wrong!
for one another is not natural, but when we are redeemed by Christ and
consider the great debt that was paid on our behalf, we have the
responsibility to look to those in need around us, and respond in love.
We are not called to help everyone in the world, just those God sets in
our path. Verse 17 reminds us that if God's love truly abides in us, we
will put action to that love and help those around us.
Impossible? Yes, it is! It is impossible for us to love others like we should. What do we do? Go to Christ; cry out to Him for help. Only Christ can instill and grow that love in our hearts so that we can truly love our brother as our own self.
What, then, does, "We should love one another" mean? Read verse 18. Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Pray today that God will help you this day to truly love one another. Pray that God will work in your heart so that you may love others in a manner that is truly pleasing to God. Think of God who gave His very own Son just so we might have life. Now that is truly love!
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