Mid Week Meditation pt. 28Submitted on: September 25, 2017
Based on Bible text: 1 John 3:18 (KJV)
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
John attempts to teach us a very simple message. He is relaying to us that if we say we have been transformed by the blood of Christ, the evidence of our transformation should show up in the way we treat our brother and sister. Our walk should match our talk! In other words our life ought to be a living and breathing demonstration of love and compassion.
God’s message to us, from the beginning has been, “love one another”. Lamentably, what should be a spontaneous display of love for each other is not always so spontaneous. The truth is that we have to be reminded constantly that we are commanded by God to love for our brothers and sisters and that we are to put other’s feelings ahead of our own.
Some of us can remember when we graduated from High School we were presented a brand-new bible from the Sunday School Department. Most times we found, written inside the inside cover were these words, “In honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10).
That, we have been taught, is an example of how Christians are supposed to live. We are taught God’s rules beginning very early on and we live trying them out. The fact of the matter is life would be so wonderful if there were a lot more trying going on. God promises for those of us who really know Him, our reactions and responses rife with selfishness and deceit will be replaced by the reactions and responses of Christ. John actually confronts us with that reality within a few verses prior to our text. He points out that “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer.” We are warned that we do not have to pull a gun, or draw knife to be a murderer. All we have to do is look the other way when the Lord is calling us to help someone.
We talk so much about the beautiful white robes we will wear when we pass from earth to heaven. I contend that Christ would be even more pleased with our living if those robes were soiled from the labor of helping our brothers and sisters. Knowing we are loved ought to make us be more loving.
John is actually teaching us about agape love. He’s teaching us that the unconditional love that God has for us is the same love we are commanded to extend toward each other. This kind of love goes against our carnal nature. Our carnal nature actually compels us to love only those who love us. Agape love says, “Love your enemies” and “pray for those who despitefully use you”.
Agape love is most often expressed in subtle but effective ways. We find agape love in our challenging moments, when we are called to exhibit an extra ounce of patience toward someone persecuting us. Agape love is in our sacrificial moments, when we open our clinched fist and share with someone until it hurts. It is also in our vengeful moments, when we have the power to retaliate but we chose not to use it.
The truth of the matter is we cannot know Agape love unless we also know how to forgive. Agape love and forgiveness must go hand in hand as it is impossible for us to live in this world without getting bitten by one of Satan’s snakes. His snakes are everywhere, riding the backs of the saved and the unsaved. And if we can’t return hate with love, we will soon be nothing more than a bitter wretch of a man or woman.
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