1 John 3:11-21
When we exclude love from the way we relate to another person, we are allowing sin to rule that relationship. All sin is a type of murder ? murder in the sense that we are putting to death the potential that we have to live in the full image and likeness of God. When we sin we destroy our ability to image the Lord who created us. This is the tragedy of sin in its deepest reality. Obviously there are differing degrees of this reality but even if we have only succumbed to a small sin, this could be merely the first step to a much larger sin.
11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, 12 unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. 13 Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. 16 The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? 18 Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. 19 [Now] this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him 20 in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. 21 Beloved, if [our] hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God.
P S A L M
Psalm 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; 2 serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name, (R) 5 The LORD is good: the LORD, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)
G O S P E L
I think that there is an element of skepticism in all of our minds at times concerning the things of God. This is hard to avoid as we live in a world that often wants to deny that we should give any credence to the idea that God exists and that He has a call upon our lives ? that we have a duty to be obedient to His will. There are times when this causes all sorts of inconveniences for us so we allow ourselves to be deceived by arguments that seek to cast doubt upon His real role in our lives.
43 The next day he decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, ?Follow me.? 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, ?We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets. Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.? 46 But Nathanael said to him, ?Can anything good come from Nazareth?? Philip said to him, ?Come and see.? 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, ?Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.? 48 Nathanael said to him, ?How do you know me?? Jesus answered and said to him, ?Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.? 49 Nathanael answered him, ?Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.? 50 Jesus answered and said to him, ?Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.? 51 And he said to him, ?Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.?
think: When we exclude love from the way we relate to another person, we are allowing sin to rule that relationship.
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Genesis 17-20