1 John 3:11-24, “11This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
I can honestly say that not evey chuch I’ve ever attended appeared to get that first memo. Sure, they’re great at loving the Christians in their church family, but outside of that, they may not show much love for others at all. Have you ever wondered just how many churches there are? In my last county there were a hundred and ten. In this county there are likely more. Some states are made up of nearly fifty counties, others contain nearly a hundred. Counties with big cities tend to have more kinds of churches. You would think that between all of us there’d be an outpouring of God’s love on the communities we live in that in turn affect the states and the entire country.
John says that we should love one another. We know that if we don’t love we remain in death. We know that Jesus loved us by laying down his life for us. We know that the love of God isn’t in the man with lots of possessions who refuses to help a brother in need. Chuch, are you the man with a lot of possessions or are you the man in need? What if we considered every other church in the county as a brother to us? Then wouldn’t we help “Tiny Mackasaw Country Church” keep it’s electricity on while sending musicians to bolster “Greater Area Mackasaw Church of Faith” while their own musicians are out sick? “But they’re Pentacostal or Traditional, we wouldn’t get along.” Love I think, covers these issues and allows both sides to be forgiving. It is long past time to love in actions and in truth.
(I just found out … my aunt … she has lung cancer … a particularly aggressive lung cancer. It’s not fair. So those of you who have been touched by cancer, lost a relative to cancer, or are the sort to lend your time to this cause, I ask for prayers on her behalf. Lord, you know I’ve been praying for the salvation of my family. I know that this half isn’t as saved as the other. I know that everybody dies eventually, but I also know that this aunt is a rock to her family. Lord, I want your will, but I want your will to be that she lives. I know it’s selfish. We lost my non-smoking grandmother on the other side of my family to an agressive lung cancer, but she had lived a long life. How many more will it be? Whatever happens, I’ll still love you.)