Rev. Peter Greiner
Sun 21 Jun
If there is one consistent theme John writes of in his gospel and in his letters, it is the theme of love. Why would John stick with such a theme? These versus from 1 John 4 provide some answers to the question. He could very easily say it is a command, and indeed John does issue the command to love one another on several occasions. For John it is more that a command - it is a way of life lived when one follows the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If God is love and one claims to follow God, then love should be a characteristic of those who claim to have God in their life. Although we cannot see God, we can certainly see the effects of God on someone’s life. Just as we cannot see the wind, but we can see the effect of wind as branches move about in the breeze. We see God in action when we see his people loving one another.
John also warns about false love. The person who says he loves you, but you are living in fear of that person, then John’s conclusion is that is not a loving relationship. In fact for John if you claim to love God, but don’t love your brother or sister in Christ then you are a liar.
How then should we apply John’s words regarding loving one another? What does it mean to love a brother or sister who is facing persecution? Is is enough to say you will pray for them? What does this love look like when it comes to rubbing shoulders with people who rub us the wrong way? How do we love them? “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17). Who is God using to grow love in your life?