Text: 1 John 3:18-4:6
For believers to be guided by the Spirit of love
For scientists and all who test theories
One more time about Jesus as the linchpin, the fulcrum of our faith.
The writings of John, both Gospel and Epistles, emphasize the primacy of love in the life of the believer. Jesus instructs his disciples that their obedience to what he teaches is motivated by their love of him. In his letters, John urges the little communities under his care to love one another as kin, as blood relations, as elders and children do. The famous Church Father Jerome, writing in the early 400s AD, says that by the end of John’s life, as old age began to steal his energy and abilities, he would repeat a single sentence, over and over: “my dear children, love each other.” His disciples grew weary of this mantra and pressed the old man why he kept saying this again and again. Jerome writes he answered with a saying that summed up his whole ministry: “[i]t is the Lord’s command, so if that alone is done, it is enough.”
The logic is inescapable: The disciple whom Jesus loved spends his life learning and teaching others how to love rightly, how to love as his Lord loves. It is for this reason that John writes a dogmatic statement as an anchor, a solid foundation for this love: test what is said! Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in flesh is from God; any spirit that denies Jesus is not from God.
We love because he first loved us, loved us enough that the Beloved Son would leave the Father’s side to walk in flesh with us and share our sorrows, our joys, our life, and bring us to salvation. So let us love as he has asked.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks
"Jesus, detail" photo courtesy of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod