Daily Reading and Prayer submitted by Doug MacDonald
1 John 3:11-24
11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do 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. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[a] if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
16 This 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 and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives 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.
The whole of Chapter 3 is about love. God’s love for us, and our love for God which we show by loving one another. Verse 1 begins: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Verse 16 tell us: “This 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.” A practical illustration of this love in action is when volunteers from PEI went to El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity to help build five homes. After the home dedications, where each new owner was given their own Spanish Bible, one of the ladies asked why someone would go there to help them. She broke into tears and hugs as she was shown the passage in I John 3:17-18 where it says: “If 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? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love for me. Thank you that I may be called a child of God. Help me to show my gratitude to you for this love by loving others. Give me the compassion to share with those in need, and help me to put my faith into action. Make me conscious of the needs of others. Guide me to ways in which I may serve them, and in so doing also serve you. And give me the strength to carry out this service. Amen