Thursday, May 24, 2012

We Should Love One Another

1 John 3:11-24  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  (12)  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.  (13)  Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.  (14)  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  (15)  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  (16)  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  (17)  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  (18)  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  (19)  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  (20)  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  (21)  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  (22)  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  (23)  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.  (24)  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

As I am writing this devotional, my mind is also considering words I must say at a Memorial Service later this week.  Verse eleven and the pending Memorial Service brought to my mind the last time I heard my Dad’s voice.  (He was leaving for Japan, later redirected to Korea.)  That morning he and my Mother were trying to wake me up so he could say good-bye, but I was pretending I was still asleep.  I heard my Dad say, “Let him sleep.”  (Oh how I wish I had gotten up and said good-bye.  I didn’t know that was the last time I would ever see him or hear him.  He died about nine months later in Korea.)
This brings me to our title, “we should love one another.”  We should not only say, but also show our love for one another.
Job 7:1  Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
We don’t know our appointed time as God sets that time.  We “go on” with our lives, and wherever we are at our appointed time is the place.  (Since I began preaching, I have hoped God will call me into eternity while preaching His Word.  Yet, I know it is God’s call.)
God loves us beyond anything we can measure, and as Christians, we need to realize “our time” on earth is momentary, and it is getting shorter day by day.  We must “love one another” with the “love,” that God gives us.  (John the Revelator, who wrote this epistle, is speaking to the brethren.  This “love” John is referring to is toward us.)
We must show our “love” to the world so they will want the “love” we have.  Not just for themselves, but also that they will have that same ability to “love” others, as they are “love[d].”  (Our problem is that we are NOT to “love” worldly things, yet we do.)   We are to love the sinner, but hate his sin. Jesus taught that we should “love” non-Christians.  Our problem is we cannot always relay our “love” to those who do not know Jesus The Christ.  (Part of this problem may stem from our own hearts, as we don’t “love” the brethren, as we should.  We must reflect on ourselves and look at the “love” we have toward the brethren.)  Once we have put ourselves “back on course,” we must examine (reflect upon) our own hearts and show our “love” to those who are living in sin, (and possibly have no knowledge of Jesus The Christ.)
“Christian, are you searching for your “love for the brethren?  Are you to searching for your “love” for the lost?  Are you Glorifying God with the “love” He has given you? 
If not, get off the fence, get down and go.  Just do it.
Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Baptist Pastor
Wylie, Texas        Fundamental Thoughts