By This We Know Love

1 John 3:11-16 ESV

“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”

This love that we are to have, one for another, is no ordinary love. It is not human love or emotion but a choice of the will. It is to prefer to live through Christ, embracing his will, choosing his choices, and obeying them through his power. For it is to prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy, just, righteous, and pure, as God is all these. And God is love, and this love comes from God, so when we love others with this love we will do for them and to them what is for their good, and we will not willfully harm them.

For we should not be like Cain. And who was Cain? He was the firstborn son of Adam and Eve. And they were the first humans God created. Their second born son was Abel. And Abel was a keeper of the sheep, and Cain was a worker of the ground. And in the course of time they each brought an offering to the Lord. Yet the Lord accepted Abel’s offering, and he rejected Cain’s, so Cain was very angry with God.

“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.’” Genesis 4:6-7 ESV

But Cain did not listen to God and he followed the will of his flesh, instead, and he ended up murdering his brother. Why? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s were righteous. And this is where many people are today, hating and murdering other humans because their own deeds are evil, and because they are selfish and greedy and they want their own way regardless of who gets hurt in the process. And hate is murder, and so murder can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse, too.

So, if you are like Abel, and your life is pleasing to the Lord, and he accepts you as his own because you have surrendered your life to him, and he is Lord of your life, and you have forsaken your sins to follow him in obedience, then don’t be surprised if those who are more like Cain will hate you and will come against you and attack you. And even some people may want you dead, or they may literally kill you. And this is because your love for the Lord and your walk of faith in the Lord is an offense to them.

Now, this is not the only reason that people murder others. It isn’t always evil people just murdering those who are righteous. Those who are evil and who are greedy are those who will murder anyone if it suits their purposes. A lot of people are killed regularly for all sorts of evil purposes, including for the purpose of world domination (see Revelation 12-14). And one of the goals of world domination is population reduction.

Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, if we are sincerely following Jesus in truth and in righteousness, and not in form only, we are going to have enemies, including pastors and elders of church congregations, and including fellow professers of faith in Jesus Christ, and including our own family members and those of our own households. It is what Jesus said would happen to us if we become his true disciples and if we follow him in obedience.

For not everyone who professes to know God and to believe in Jesus Christ is a true follower of Christ. Many give lip service only to the Lord but by their actions they deny him. They claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior but they do not honor him as Lord of their lives and they do not submit to his plan of salvation for their lives, which is to deliver them out of their slavery (addiction) to sin and to empower them to live godly and holy lives for the praise and glory of God.

But since Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross to free us from our addiction to sin and to give us new lives in him to be lived for his glory and purposes, then we are to submit to him as Lord. We are to surrender our lives to him, and we are to walk in his ways and in his truth, by the grace of God, and in his power and strength. And we are to love one another with the love God has for us, and we are not to do to others deliberately and habitually what we know will harm them.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 7:21-23; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 9:23-26; Lu 21:12-17; Jn 8:51; Jn 10:27-30; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10-21; Acts 5:32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 10:1-22; Php 2:12-13; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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