Our scripture this morning is 1 John 3:18-24.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.”
John reminds us that saying we love one another is only a good thing if we also show that we love one another. Additionally, we must love those who don’t love us in return. This is hard for us sometimes but Jesus taught “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:32).
This may be the most difficult lesson of all. Jesus loved and forgave even those crucified Him; we are called to show the same love to those who oppose us. God loves all His children and calls us all to be connected to Him and each other.
In order to be in a loving relationship with God we must “believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us” (v. 23). We can’t say we love God and still hate our brothers and sisters. God reaches out to us, it is up to us to accept His love and live in obedience in order to be saved.
Gracious God, help us to see each other as You see us, beloved children of the kingdom. May we love one another as You first loved us. Amen.