Friday, October 21, 2022

Love One Another (1 John 2:1-11)

"He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him" (1 John 2:10).

How does the habit of love that resides in our souls by the power of the Spirit manifest itself in our daily lives? First, let us heed the advice of John Calvin: “If we rightly direct our love, we must first turn our eyes not to man, the sight of whom would more often engender hate than love, but to God, who bids us extend to all men the love we bear to Him that this may be an unchanging principle: whatever the character of the man, we must yet love him because we love God.”

When we meditate on God’s love and live in accordance with His ways, we develop a greater ability to love others as God loves them. Jesus said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). To know how to love others and obey Christ’s command, we must know how He has loved us. We discover in the Scriptures that Christ loved and died for His children while they were yet sinners. We learn from this that we cannot give our love conditionally; we cannot wait until people meet our expectations to love them. Love others as they are, not as we want them to be (no matter how much that desire is based on holy principles). You are not perfect and others are not either; therefore, we must act toward one another with charity and forgiveness.

One practical way to do this is to maintain a judgment of charity. Give the benefit of the doubt before making a judgment. Before you know all the facts about someone, make a best case analysis instead of the worst. If you think the worst of someone, it will be difficult to love them and serve them. But if you think the best, your love will come much easier.

Another aspect of love is as Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). While we rarely have the opportunity to substitute our life for another’s, we do have many opportunities to sacrifice what we want for someone else. To say you are willing to die for another, yet to remain unwilling to interrupt your schedule for someone else is base hypocrisy. Love is willing to spend time with another, to serve another, no matter the cost to you.

Examine your love for others. Are you willing to give up your own agenda, your own time, to serve others? Do you consciously seek to love others, that they might see that love and come to know Christ? Pray that God will give you an opportunity this weekend to love sacrificially.