Friday: 1 John 3:11-15
If we have been forgiven, brought into the light, and now have a new direction to take our life, what should that direction be? As we’ve been looking, John is teaching us that as we accept and know Jesus more, our lives should be changed. In our verses today he gives us another example of what it looks like to be walking in the way Jesus has called us to.
“This is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love another.”
When we know our end goal is to know Jesus, we know that our life must be different. John again tells us that it is our love that makes us different. And he then slips in a quick warning about what happens in our life when we love radically like Jesus. He says “Do not be surprised, Brothers, that the world hates you.”
To go back to chapter 1, those who have left the faith and not criticized those who have stayed. John addresses that they are going to hate you. The world, who does not know the light, and who does not know the future hope that we have, does not understand the love that we show. So, we change our life, we begin to show love to those around us, and we see that the world around us doesn’t understand it so they react. However, John encourages us, when they hate us, when they criticize us, we choose instead to love because of the hope we know awaits us.
We do not hate anymore, we look to remove hate and respond in love, because the eternal life inside us, that we hope for, and strive towards, leaves no room for hate. The light, Jesus, has changed us, and we must learn to love in ALL circumstances.
Who in your life do you struggle to love? What are the things that keep you from being able to forgive and remove the hate from your life?