THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE:
1 John 2:7- 7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. (NLT)
1 John 3:11- 11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (NLT)
1 John 4:7- 7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. (NLT)
1 John 5:1- Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. (NLT)
2 John 1:5- 5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. (NLT)
THOUGHTS FROM CAMERON:
This isn’t a new devotional. In fact, it is an old one that you’ve probably read from the beginning of your devotional days. Honestly, there is a good possibility that the first devotional you ever read was very similar to this one. In fact, one of our other pastors has probably already written a devotional very similar to this for you to read this year. Nevertheless, I am still continuing to type out this “not new” devotional because, as you can tell from the scriptures above, it is a subject that is worth as much repetition as your mind can take.
The three books entitled “John” that are in this week’s reading consist of seven chapters. Of those seven chapters, five of them bring up the idea of loving one another. Three of them even bring up the fact that this idea is nothing new and has been taught since the very beginning. So why did John, in all of his wisdom, still decide to preach this same idea five times?
Probably because, if we are willing to be truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that loving one another is H-A-R-D! As much as I would love to believe that every single believer does a fantastic job at loving each other, I can’t; simply because I see how I fail at it every single day. And instead of comforting us by telling us it’s okay, that it’s hard, and just to do our best, John tells us that if we are to truly belong to Christ and know Him, we are to love like He loved. Wow!
What I would love to be able to do at this point is to give you the secret that makes it so easy to love one another, but I don’t have that secret. It takes discipline, courage, and an unwavering dependence on the Holy Spirit in knowing that the only way we can love others is to allow Him to love them through us. So, how do we obtain that ability?
It’s a daily grind. Nothing else. Wake up, depend on the Holy Spirit. Go to work, depend on the Holy Spirit. Come home to screaming kids and a tired wife, depend on the Holy Spirit. Lay your head on your pillow, while you’re thinking of all the ways you failed that day, and in the same way you depended on the Holy Spirit to love everyone else, depend on the Holy Spirit to give you the grace and wisdom to love yourself.
John 13:35- 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (NLT)
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!