1 John 3:11-21
~ Today's New International Version
11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a fellow believer is a murderer, and you know that no murderers have eternal life in them.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you?
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.
John has themes that he returns to again and again as he writes. John talks about God as being light, without any darkness at all. Dark is not even dark to God. He then goes on to speak about God as love – "this is the message you have heard from the beginning" – we should love another (verse 11), as Jesus loves us.
Love, as John rightly suggests, should consume our whole being, and be evident from every pore of our body. What we do, what we say and what we think will reveal us to be people of love and people of God."
John saw Love modeled by Jesus. This would be John's eyewitness account of what drew the disciples of Jesus and the crowds Jesus had such compassion upon. We, of course, pale in comparison.
Come, Lord Jesus, dwell in me.
Conflict is inevitable. The Bible is all about personal stories of the path of reality becoming Love.
A grudge is when you let someone live in anger in your heart. Forgiveness is when you have allowed healing to begin and continue. When Jesus said turn the other cheek, He didn't mean not communicate. He meant don't stir up anger unnecessarily. Paul writes to Timothy - present yourself as one approved before God, present the truth accurately. The disciples faced false accusations and anger. They stood up to explain. Communication is not against what God asks of us.
Jesus lived so many examples that John said the world couldn't contain all the examples of Jesus. Not every one adored Jesus. And He forgave them. Jesus appeared to 500 - the 500 who had loved Jesus. Jesus was not to enter the house of his accusers again.
God did not invalidate Jesus' forgiveness. Jerusalem was not to burn to the ground until the forgiven generation of Jesus had died. God allowed peace to reign on those multitudes who had come to mourn the fate of Jesus. On the healed. On those great crowds who had come far into the wilderness to see Jesus.
In marriages, in families, in loving friendships - people have disagreements. In the early Church. In the disciples. In the last Chapter of John's Gospel. 1 Corinthians 13 explains the perfect Love God has in His sufficiency for those who do the work God gives mankind to believe God and trust Him. This is being held by God's grace, mercy and favor as He longs to put us under His wing. God longs to love us. He is the Prodigal Father - He is not about earned in His unobtainable gift of Salvation for those who profess and believe in their earnest hearts. This is how God says there is no condemnation in Jesus Christ. This is not easy Grace. It is earned by the death of Jesus. A most serious concept. Once a friend gasped to me upon watching "The Passion of the Christ" - how could we possibly, ever, ever watch that - unless we Knew Easter Was Coming?
How do we take an argument in a marriage or anywhere else and not become a prisoner to a grudge or a vow or a family? Truly this takes God to make a path. Forgiveness, a way to bend and yield with mercy. We have to fight the good fight for a true peace. We cannot allow half truths to press peace into a meaningless phrase. The truth should not be treated as if it is not known. And encouraged to be spoken again - if a fact is known - this is known.
Paul told Timothy - present yourself as one approved - Timothy knew in his heart to God, he was approved - teach the message of truth accurately.
Love allows people to make mistakes and love allows communication. People admit their flaws and are allowed to be forgiven for truths expressed. Pressing people to admit a fault not their own and asking false submissiveness is not a path of love. Taking one's own emotions to find fault with another not responsible but obtainable to rail at - is not a path of truth. False implications are not love. But allowing mistakes to be made and moving past them with truth expressed is. If we look for perfect people, we are asking for a false pose. God Himself says we are flawed. It takes God to make forgiveness.
What we do with believers of God is this:
Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
We believe People of God have the goodness of Reasonableness and Justice. We believe Loving people have God in them. We expect them to draw near and to be approachable and loving. We expect to be able to reason with the Beloved of God. We believe a faith of discussion and love exist and continue forth.
We believe truth is a goal of “Love your neighbor as yourself” and is covered by love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We believe fighting the good fight for these things bear fruit. To accept less or expect less is merely the way of the world and not a path of Hope, Faith and Love.
I am fortunate enough to work with the youngest generation making a path in the world today. Blessed.
I found one person today who was terrified to be pregnant. She had decided to believe the media that sexual liberation at age 18 was reasonable. What she found is that she didn't enjoy sex when you are forced to be involved in something unskilled in real love. Young people are Astonished to hear real love can laugh during love making. That getting into a discussion of pleasure is valid. That skill of intimate knowledge is required in real love making for pleasure. People who can express their flaws and be loved. Real love has your face held, your eyes looked into and fabulous love revealed - is part of the commitment of good sex. Real love making makes the people around them involved in rules - families feel protected and not opened up to serious consequences.
This is not part of the sexual revolution - and the truth is the sexual revolution provides a lot of hurt feelings, bad intimacy and STD's. Her 18 year old comment was, "I wish I could have all this taken back and not happen. What the media portrays as easy sex - is a lie." She is going to make changes in her life. She asked about paths forward and how to help her mom with a 3 year old sister - also abandoned by a "baby daddy."
All that framework called marriage - this makes families with a dependable structure. But this 18 year old child turned her concerns from herself and on to helping her mom. God using her circumstances to realize what her mom is in need of. Sex isn't a great goal of self, family is the goal for life that is abundant. This eighteen year old has family and goals that involve pleasing God. She is unpregnant and thrilled to be out of trouble - this has made her heart for her mom grow.
The next young person I encountered is thrilled to be married, have a job in a good place, with not a lot of money. She is pregnant with their third child - on one partial hysterectomy. In her low income, she and her husband are providing a home for her abandoned mother with a great deal of love. And for her younger brother too. Her younger brother was thrilled to be an uncle for the 3rd time and was aglow with the idea of more family to love. Money is not a big priority - family and love is. Drugs are frowned upon - why do you need them when Love is so available.
The next young person sat on the same sofa and cried because her ovary is inflamed, bleeding, cysts that rupture and bleeding. She said with kleenex in hand that she hates the idea of having a partial hysterectomy because she wants to have more children. God is so Good isn't He? I told her of the woman in that room that day and how God brings people together that don't even meet. She quit crying! God will find a path.
Her boyfriend told her they would not date. They met outside of a restaurant and happened to run into each other two weeks later. Love at first sight. He said that he was a the child of foster parents and wouldn't date until he had made a best friend. A year later, and many good times later, their first kiss occurred. Then the dating began. This still exists in the world today. They moved into the foster parent's house and tried to rescue their mortgage. In the real world, things happen out of order. But this is love and there will be marriage. Her boyfriend, she will marry, is the only father her son has known. His dad cut out his visits when he found out that child support was coming his way. Now this child has a real dad.
Jesus is Living Water. He goes were He is needed. He soaks in and makes life. Thank God for Jesus.
Father God, Your mercies renew each day. Let us draw near to You for Your encouragement that there is trouble in this life and You overcome trouble. In Jesus we place our Hope, Faith and Love to stand before Him to hear Him say, "Well done My Beloved Child." We pray Your abundant mercies and blessings upon us. And the ones we Love. Thank God the Highest Name is Jesus and we rest upon Him. Amen.
Thank You, Jesus Christ Our LORD!
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †