Thursday, December 9, 2010

1 John 3:11-18

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 brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
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 our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone 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 that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Questions to consider:
  • What happens to evil when confronted by righteousness?
  • What are some “civilized” way to “murder” your brother?
  • How does God regard hatred?
  • In contrast, if you really love your brother, how will you express it?
  • According to this criteria, whom do you love?

Possibilities for prayer:

Loving one another? This message (or command) is one that Jesus gave over and over again throughout His life. And John suggests that love is tied to life. Today, let’s ask for the ability to love others well--even when they’re difficult, or mean, or rude, or any other negative thing we want to ascribe to them. As John says, let our love be about more than just words; may our love be demonstrated with actions and truth.