December 13, 2018 Verse Of The Day

 

1 John 4_20

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:20

 

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1 John 5:3 Love For God

 

Autumn river

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Following various organizations can be a challenge for some people. The organization will have a lot of rules and regulations that a person must follow. Some of these commands may be how a person dresses, where he can go, what he can do, how he must speak, how much it may cost, and many other rules. The number of rules can become a challenge and a heavy burden for many people. They may even keep some people from joining.

Many people in the world see following God in this same way. They see what they think are many rules and commands that they must follow. This is often seen because people in the church lay out a long list of commands a person must follow in order to believe in Jesus or be a member of the church. In order to love God a person must do all of those commands. Some of these may be: how a person dresses, which bible translation he reads, where he goes to church, how much he must give to the church, and many other commands.

John states that to love God is to keep His commands, and that His commands are not a heavy burden. All of God’s commands are summed up in loving God and loving other people. This is not a lot of commands. They are simple. Do what is best for God and for others.

When a person gets wrapped up in lots of commands, he loses the sight of love for God. He sees God as a harsh dictator and not a loving Father. Then it becomes hard to love God or others.

In loving God one will turn from sin and be His witness to the world. He will want to tell everyone about Jesus first and foremost. It will be his focus in life.

Focus your life on loving God and loving others. As you do that you will fulfill His commands, to love God and others.

As you love God and others, God will give you the strength to turn away from sin and to be His witness in this world. Turning from sin and obeying God will no longer be a burden, but a great joy.

How are you at loving God today?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God; that you will find joy and strength in loving God; that you will love others as God loves them; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world. 

1 John 4:18 No Fear In Love

 

Lion walking

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Fear is a common feeling that people all over the world feel. People fear sickness, death, injury, spiders, crowds, and much more. What people fear is as numerous as the stars in the sky, but each the common factor in all of them is something bad for each person.

People have fear because they feel that something could hurt them in some way or another. Yet, people love to have some fear in their lives, look at the number of horror movies that are out there to put fear into a person’s life.

John states that fear has to do with punishment and no one likes to be punished. Punishment means that the person did something wrong. Punishment often will hurt a person and means pain of some sort. It could be physical, emotional, freedom or some other pain in the person’s life, but it hurts.

The reason that people have fear is that they do not have perfect love or know perfect Love. God is love and He is the perfection of love. God is not out to punish or harm a person for his sins. He wants to clear the person of his sins and make a way for him to be a part of His family.

If a person really knows God and how much He loves him, he will have no fear. He will know that God is for him, not against him. The person will know that God will not allow anything to harm him, that is not for his best interest to make him more like Jesus.

The believer can walk in complete confidence that God will take care of him, no matter what is in the path. There will be no fear, because of His great love and protection is always there.

If you have any fear in your life, turn your eyes towards God. Get to know who He is and how much He loves you. Then trust Him to take care of you and do not fear what is before you.

Every situation, (whether looking good or bad) is for your benefit to make you more like Jesus. Do not fear the situation, other people or this world. God loves you. Know perfect Love.

I pray today that you will know Jesus more and more; that you will know God’s perfect love; that God will remove all fear in your life; and that you will trust God with your life.

1 Peter 3:9 Repay With Blessings

 

Flowing river

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

Every day people insult or do something wrong, evil, to someone else. People can be mean and hateful to others on a regular basis. Some are violent, while others are not violent in action, but in words.

The reaction of most people is to strike back. It is common that the strike back is done in the same manner, violence for violence, bad words for bad words. Others may not strike the person directly, but talk badly about him to others, cutting him down in public.

The world believes that a person has the right to strike back in the same manner. They use evil to combat evil. In this they are just compiling sin upon sin. They are making the situation worse. It will usually continue to build, each person adding more to the fire.

God does not work that way. Jesus did not work in that manner when He walked on the earth. As Jesus was being whipped, beaten and nailed to the cross, He did not strike back physically or with words. He actually blessed the people asking God to forgive them.

Believers are to pour out blessings upon those who do evil to them. It does not matter if the evil was done intentionally or by accident. Giving a blessing, is showing love–God’s love to the person.

People will hurt others, both believers and non-believers, because that is the nature of man–to sin. Believers are to show love and compassion, not hate. They are to leave the vengeance up to God. They are not to return evil for evil or insult for insult.

There will be times when someone does evil to you or insults you. Before you react, think about how God has treated you when you insulted or did evil to Him. He showed you love and blessed you. Take that same blessing and pour it forward to another.

Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap the world has of repaying evil for evil. Do not allow yourself to fall into sin because of someone’s bad actions or words.

In the end God will bless you greater than getting revenge will ever help you. Live as Jesus lived, not as the world does.

I pray today that you will know the blessings God has given you; that you will be filled with God’s love for those who offend you; that you will give God’s blessings to those who hurt you; and that you will be a blessing to those around you.