Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lenten Reflection #20: Love One Another

9-10 People conceived and brought into life by God don’t make a practice of sin. How could they? God’s seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It’s not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin. Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn't from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test.

11 For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other.

12-13 We must not be like Cain, who joined the Evil One and then killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because he was deep in the practice of evil, while the acts of his brother were righteous. So don’t be surprised, friends, when the world hates you. This has been going on a long time.

14-15 The way we know we've been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn't love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together.

16-17 This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

18-20 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.
1 John 3:9-20 (The Message)

1 John is filled with many passages that shape my understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.  This morning I was thinking about just how much we need to experience real Christlike love in our lives.  There are so many who go through their day without anyone sharing love with them.  Some go weeks, months, years, even their whole lifetimes without ever experiencing real love.

John tells us that if we love God than our natural response, our responsibility, is to love others like Christ loves us.

What are we doing to love God by loving others?  Are we loving in all the opportunities that we have today to love?  Each person I encounter is needing and deserving of Christ's  love and mine.  Will I practice real love?

Here is the challenge.  Love today.  Love in real and tangible ways.  Listen. Care, Help. Love.

Do you see that person over there?

That is our opportunity to live of out our faith and to love God.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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