Week Four. John Son of Thunder Apostle of Love

February 23. 1 John 5:1-12

John continues to be a “son of thunder” as well as “apostle of love” in this section. He thunders, in that he is adamant that we believe Jesus is the Christ and that love for God is shown by obedience to Him. He is crystal clear, isn’t he? And he shows himself to also value love simply by the way it works itself into every conversation and theme! We are to love God and love others. These are, of course, the two greatest commandments. Jesus stated that for us in Matthew 22:37-39: “ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” John, a true and faithful disciple of Christ, continues to hammer these two points home to us because of their importance.

So. How are we doing? Let’s do a little heart check here. First, is my love of God evidenced in my desire to obey Him? When I show respect and honor to my husband, do I look heavenward and whisper, “See, God? I did this for You!” When I show kindness to a child even when I am frayed and tired, do I smile upward and show Him my love by that kindness?? Second, is my love for others evident in the way I treat them? When I find it hard to love, do I harden my heart further and dig in, or do I seek counsel and ask for help in learning to love the difficult ones? Is my desire to show love to others or … not?

We have already established we will not succeed perfectly in obedience. We sin. Often. We confess sin, if we are wise, immediately, and ask for renewed strength to do better. We are works in progress, aren’t we? But our desire ought to be to learn how to love Him and others more and more.

My verse: “And this is what God has testified: He has give us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

My response: Living, knowing we will live forever, changes everything. Our character matters more, because we will bring it with us. Pain and suffering are more endurable, because a day is coming when we will be comforted and our tears wiped from our eyes. The threat of death has lost its sting, because death is the entry way to life eternal!! And this forever life is fully found in You, Lord Jesus. “the life is in his Son.” Thank You, Lord, for this simple verse that shares the most profound truths of Christianity.

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February 22. 1 John 4:7-21