1 John 3:23 – And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
John wrote to make clear the connection between righteousness and love (see 1 John 2:29-3:7). Faith and love are inseparable because both find their source in God. Contrarily, the vices of hatred, anger, malice, animosity, and discord are clearly Satanic, as John bluntly affirmed (3:10, 12-15). Hatred and anger are the moral equivalents of murder (see Matthew 5:21-22), thus it is both immoral and unbiblical to be angry with others. Christ is eternal life (John 14:6, 1 John 1:2), and those who harbor anger damage the home Christ has made in their hearts (3:15).
Instead, Christians must epitomize the true character of love (3:16-18). Christians should be prepared to follow the example of Jesus in laying one’s life down for others. While we may not ever be in a situation to give our life, we may be called upon to give that which sustains life. The call to love is the call to action; it is the call to give freely of that which we have received to help those in need (3:17). The test of love is not a mere verbal expression; love is evident through acts that meet the real needs of others (3:18). Such love is the assurance that a Christian is experiencing the truth of Christ’s love (3:16, 19).
The love of Jesus sets an immeasurably high standard, and we may recognize our own failures and foibles. Take heart, Christian. Love’s assurance is so strong that it overcomes our doubtful hearts and proves that we are indeed in God’s love and his will (3:20-22).
Nevertheless, Christians who are not building their lives on the foundation of love will lose hope and heart before God. If you are going to furnish your heart with new décor then you must first remove the unwanted furnishings! Renovate your “love life” through your prayer life. Ask the Lord to help you in two areas of action:
- Remove the anger and attitudes that are ruining your love for others (3:12-15)
- Obtain the right attitude of love to help you take the right actions to express love to others (3:22)
Living a life of faith and love furnishes confidence before God that you are pleasing him (3:23). Our identity as a child of God and the desire to keep God’s commandment to love assures us that we have a remodeled life that pleases God (3:24). Have you experienced love’s renovation?
Daily Reading: 1 John 3:11-24
Bible Reading Challenge: 21 Days of Love
For more info about Liberty Baptist click here
Listen to the “Set Free to Serve” Sermon Podcast
Read more devotionals at Learning the Way of Wisdom