Our Epistle for the week is 1 John 5:1-6.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

John details the fact that anyone who loves God will keep His commandments and will also love His children (v. 2). We don’t get to pick which commandments to obey and we don’t get to choose to love some and not others. Jesus taught that it’s a package deal.

God made each one of us to love Him, and through that relationship love all people. He wants us to see that spark of Him that exists in us, and rejoice that we are all connected. The promise of redemption is offered to all who will accept Christ as their savior.

In order to fulfill the promise, Jesus came to show God’s love and teach us the way. Now it is up to us to follow, ensuring all our brothers and sisters hear the Good News and follow as well. God calls us to show our love for Him through love and service to all His children.

Gracious God, not our will but Yours be done. Help us to love each other as You first loved us. Amen.

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