To put 1 John 3:11-18 in one brief sentence, the Apostle John was saying the lack of love is murderous.
Jesus told His disciples to love one another “as I have loved you” (John 13:34). That wouldn’t be so hard if the love Jesus displayed was primarily the write-a-cheque or call-once-a-month kind of love. But Jesus set the bar immeasurably high. Jesus’s kind of love touched the skin of a leper and washed the feet of a soon-to-be betrayer. He didn’t mind interruption by another’s demands, even those of a person all others disdained. Jesus had the uncanny ability to look straight into a person’s soul to see the deepest need there.
Is that an impossible example to follow? You bet it is! That’s why God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us and empower us with His supernatural love. Only when “plugged in” to that power will His followers stand out in their treatment of others and of one another. Then people will take notice and say, “My, how they love one another!” Let these resources set you on the path of loving with the Saviour’s love.
This is the Good News—“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16 NIV). The price for our sins is paid in full. It’s a free gift for you, for me, for everyone who believes.
No matter what you’ve done God loves you. The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, calls himself the worst of sinners. Before he met Christ he killed Christians and yet he was rescued by God’s grace. And you can be too.
Despite the hymns we sing, many people think they can earn their way into heaven if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Replace your good deeds with the Good News—your salvation was accomplished on the cross. It’s simply a gift. All you have to do is accept it.
Depravity is never pretty. More often than not it’s ugly and dark, marked by scandal. We’ve all experienced depravity. But the Good News is we can come to Christ just as we are. Our depravity does not disqualify us from salvation.
Though almost at the century mark, John continued to be known for his Christlike life and love.
If you could be any animal, which one would you choose? No one ever chooses to be a sheep, and yet that’s how we’re described in the Bible. We are all like sheep needing a shepherd. And we have one—Jesus Christ. He guides, protects, and keeps us in the right rut.
When your life goes sideways and bad things happen, it’s easy to question God’s love. But it doesn’t make it less true. God loves us, even when life doesn’t make sense.
Many of us have the right motives, but we just don’t know how to reprove one another the way God intended. In this message, let’s seek to understand the value and process of speaking the truth in love so we might gain—and share, especially with our children—the helpful insight that can remove blind spots and bring about needed change.
Unless dealt with appropriately, conflicts lead to permanent breakdowns in our relationships that time alone cannot heal. If we wish to cultivate healthy relationships, especially with our children, reconciliation is essential. But…how?