2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
The First Epistle of John is a very practical letter addressed to Christian readers. It warns against the dangers of false teaching and exhorts believers to lives of obedience to God and love for their brothers and sisters.
In today’s verse John is clarifying to his readers (and us today) the ability to love other Christians does not stem from their capability, but from the fact that God is the father of all believers. We cannot love if we weren’t first loved by God, for God is love. John even goes further by stating, another way to show that we love God and each other, is by obeying God’s commands. By obeying God’s commands and loving our fellow brother or sister in Christ, we become witnesses to the world especially when loving others is borderline impossible. It’s in that moment that we have difficulty loving someone that, if it was up to us, we would never be able to love, but since our source to love is God, we can with the help of the Holy Spirit love the other person as we ought to.
Thoughts for the day
- Is there a fellow believer that you are not loving as you should?
- Is it because you are trying to love him or her out of your own strength?
- How do you think the world views Christians if we don’t love each other but treat one another like the world would? What damage do you think it has for Christianity?
“I thank you, Lord, for Your beautiful, multicultural, intergenerational family. Revive and sanctify us once again we pray. Forgive our many sins and make us holy. Set our hearts on fire again with the good news of Your gospel.”