1 John 2:15-17 NIV Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
“I might say ‘I love the Father, that’s my team.’ But quietly I say ‘I’m going to love both.’ Quietly I love the world. I don’t call it ‘lust,’ but does my five year career plan take seriously God’s commandment? I don’t call it ‘pride,’ but will I budge when it comes time to reorder my schedule and priorities?
‘Don’t love the world’ is an invitation to evaluate all of our activities and plans and relationships, it’s a heart check to consider honestly all the quiet ways we might love the world, and God gives us the grace to close that door shut, and to love the Father alone.” (P. Lee)
Prayer: God, thank you for your Spirit who fills our hearts with love for the Father. Today, we receive your grace anew to close the door to the ways of the world and to love you alone. May we walk in new obedience to your command of love. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s offer our lives to God as we sing “Christ is Enough” by Hillsong (click here).
1 John 2:12-14 NIV I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
“As John writes to the children, fathers, and young men, it is clear that their identities have been shaped by the work of God. God has forgiven their sins; he has enabled them to know him; and he has caused them to overcome the evil one… And so, John’s very reasons for writing to them are due to the fact that they are the recipients of God’s transformative work.” (Constantine Campbell, 1, 2, & 3 John, p82)
“John can’t help but repeat himself. He’s saying – ‘Church, you know God, you do know God, you know Him. Period. Don’t think otherwise. I’ll say it again, you do know God.’” (P. Lee)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for all you have done. Fill us with your Spirit’s power to live in the truth of who we are today. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s sing “Yes and Amen” by Jesus Culture (click here).
1 John 2:9-10 NIV Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
“The old/new command of love means that hate is to be entirely shunned. The ‘light’ of 2:8c is incompatible with hate so that anyone who ‘hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness’…A hater does not belong to Jesus but to the world. By the same token ‘anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light’ (2:10a). Light and love go together.” (Constantine Campbell, 1, 2, & 3 John, p66)
“Those who live in love and light, ‘there is nothing in them that makes them stumble.’ This is a description of the people/church where their whole life orientation and priority is centered on living out the command to love. John says – that kind of person/community – it’s like they hold the lamps in this dark world – they know what they’re doing, they know what they’re living for, they see the big picture.” (P. Lee)
As those who have been brought into God’s light, let’s lay down our lives in prayer and in action for one another in our churches, missional groups, and campuses today. Let’s ask that the love of Christ may be evidenced in greater measure among us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as you have loved us, may we love one another. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
1 John 2:7-8 NIV Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
“The ancient command has taken on a new form since the coming of Christ. Initially, Christ himself exemplified this love by demonstrating his self-giving love for us. He fulfilled the law of love in a way never before seen. But more, Jesus has enabled this love to be realized in the present age among his followers. Hence, the truth of love is evidenced “in him and in you.” In other words, a new era has dawned, a new age has come, a new empowering light is shining, all of which give the church new possibilities for love and a new imperative.” (Gary Burge, Letters of John, p100)
“Jesus has loved me and he has loved you, and this love has transformed us…His love activated/produced in us the ability, capacity, and desire to love like Jesus. So John is matter of fact – Jesus’ love is now our love. We get to love like Jesus.” (P. Lee)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, your love has forever changed us. May your love overflow from us today to all those around us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s sing Holy Forever by Chris Tomlin (click here)
John 15:9-13 NIV As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
The Cape Town Commitment – “We love because God first loved us”
Love for God and love for neighbour constitute the first and greatest commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets. Love is the fulfilling of the law, and the first named fruit of the Spirit. Love is the evidence that we are born again; the assurance that we know God; and the proof that God dwells within us. Love is the new commandment of Christ, who told his disciples that only as they obeyed this commandment would their mission be visible and believable. Christian love for one another is how the unseen God, who made himself visible through his incarnate Son, goes on making himself visible to the world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for loving us. We respond anew to your command to love one another, saying yes with our whole lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s worship God with singing “Build My Life” by Housefires (click here).