Loving One Another (I John 3:11-20)
Causes to Love (I John 3:13-15) – Part 2
I John 3:13-15, Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Cain had a bitter hatred for his own brother because of Abel’s ’righteousness. It is godliness that infuriates the wicked (Proverbs 29:27). As people become more ungodly, those who are good will be called evil and those who are called evil will be called good (Isaiah 5:20). When these conditions occur, that society is in serious sorrow.
How can a person know if they have been saved and have passed from death unto life? The answer according to John is love for the brethren. The word "brethren" has reference to the spiritual brotherhood. Love is not the cause of our passing over into life; it is the proof that we have passed from death to life.
John comes back to this point again because this matter is so important. Christians grow when they love other believers. Churches thrive when the people love one another instead of fussing, feuding and fighting with one another.
When you love the brethren, you will love your church and you will enjoy going to church. It is difficult to love others in the church, to really know them, and get close to them when you are not faithful to the services. It is one thing to like other believers, but it is another matter to actually love other Christians.
Hatred is a very serious matter because hatred is not satisfied with controlling a small part of your heart. It wants and takes almost complete control of a person’s heart, mind, body and soul. When hate grips a person, they do not think rationally at all. The person is consumed by their hate. Common sense gets blurred, biased and bizarre.
Hating a believer makes a person no different than Osama Bin Laden, Charles Manson, or Adolf Hitler in God’s approximation. That is alarming and crushing. Those who are branded by repeated hateful attitudes toward others and who habitually harbor murderous feelings give proof of an unbelieving heart.
We must remember that Jesus was hated by the world long before we came on the scene. Therefore, we should not be surprised when the world and worldly people hate us. The more you love and honor God, the more you expose the evil of those who do not. The more you expose the evil of those who dishonor God, the more they’ll hate you. They’ll hate you because of who you love, because of who you resemble. They hated Jesus and they’ll hate those who are like Jesus.
The very core of Christ's message is one of love. God loved so much that He gave His all. Those saved have experienced that love fully and now God desires that they turn around to show others that love as well. Love isn't common in our world. Hearing of someone giving of themselves stands out in a world of selfish pursuit. So, when someone shows love, others notice. As Christians, our very existence should be to show love to those around us.
PRAYER: Lord, I know the power of Your love can impact someone today. So help me take the time to show it to someone today. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.