Scripture Reading — 1 John 4:7-21
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth … love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22 —
A child of God extends holy Christlike love to others. The apostle John states, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
Still, too many Christians have treated others with a malicious spirit and slanderous speech. Some prayerfully seek forgiveness for “honest mistakes” while holding on to grudges against their perceived “enemies.” Others demand empathy for their own pain, but then they callously hurt people whom they see as beneath them. Too often the gift of undeserved grace is forgotten, and in its place a self-righteousness rises and brings harm to others.
What can Christians do instead? Why not love with the patience and kindness of Christ? Why not help others discover the joy that Christ’s forgiveness has given us? Why not help a restless heart find the peace that Christ’s acceptance achieved for us? Christlike love is always the fruit shown by those who sincerely obey God’s Word. Holy love always seeks to be a servant of God’s grace to all people.
Let’s test ourselves by this truth: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” The credibility of the words we speak is measured by the life we live.
Lord, “search me … and know my heart.” Forgive my malicious and slanderous spirit. Give me courage to love as Christ loves, and to serve as he has served. In his name, Amen.