Monday, December 13, 2010

1 John 3:11-24

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.
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 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Questions to consider:
  • What happens to evil when confronted by righteousness?
  • What are some civilized ways to “murder” your brother or sister?
  • How does God regard hatred?
  • How do you respond to the fact that God knows everything about your love for your brothers and sisters?
  • What characteristics are essential in your life to give you confidence before God and the assurance that your prayers will be answered?
Possibilities for prayer:

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Do we love with our actions? In my house, we often tell each other that we love each other. But hopefully, we are doing things (even little things like doing each other’s dishes, lending clothes or other items) to show each other that that love we have spoken is real, is truthful. Today, let’s pray that we have the courage and desire to demonstrate our love with actions and in truth, rather than simply speaking the words.