Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Unity of church for the witness of Life
v11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. :
In today’s passage, the Apostle John explains what it means to be a child of God and contrasts that with those who are not. He makes it clear that we are called children of God because of God’s love and not because of anything we have done (v1). God’s love transforms us, such that the world will reject us just as they did Christ. We should not be dismayed but seek to emulate the One who has called us into His family.
As children of God, we are called to be different. We do not live a life of sin, as we did prior to our calling. It is not that Christians do not sin, but our sin grieves us because it grieves God. We do not sin out of fear but out of love for God. As such, we are called to practice righteousness because our Father is righteous (v7). It is natural for children to mimic their parents and as children of God, we look to emulate the One who adopted us into His family.
It is easy to tell those who are not children of God by their actions. Rather than looking to please God, they look to please themselves. We see this from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden when Adam & Eve chose themselves over God. Those who live accordingly are of the devil (v8). John further points out that those who do not love their brother are children of the devil (v10). When we don’t love our brother, evil guides our actions which led Cain to kill his brother (v12).
The Apostle John reassures us that we are not alone in this battle. Because of love, Christ came to take away the sin of the world (v5) and destroy the works of the devil (v8). Through Christ’s love, we are called into the family of God. Through Christ’s love, the world will know Him through our actions. Through Christ’s love, it is no longer us but Him who conquered evil. As believers we are called to demonstrate love, as a true expression of the righteousness of Christ who abides in us.
Lord as Your children help us to love one another, so that Your kingdom may come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Tom Philip, Redeemer MTC, NJ
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church