Romans 5:8 (NIV) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 (NLT) 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
“It is only by recognizing the truth that all are sinners, but that all can receive God’s love, mercy, and grace in Christ, that we can genuinely love ourselves and others while being fully informed about our own poor capacity for love and about the worth of others. Yes, that neighbor wronged us, but that does not disqualify them from our love, for God loves them and us, even though we are both undeserving sinners. It is only knowledge of that truth that permits us to receive God’s love in Christ, and then to love others as ourselves. It is in and through such ‘truth and love’ that the elder assures us that grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ will be with us always.” (Karen Jobes, 1, 2, and 3 John, 258)
Prayer: Father, wash us again with the truth of your love, mercy, and grace in Christ. Use us to love others as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Gracefully Broken” by Matt Redman. (Click here)
2 John 7-9 (NLT) 7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.
“We have to get our thoughts right about Jesus…The more we know the truth, the more we can walk in love—the truth of who Jesus is, what he’s done for us, his life, death and resurrection and all that it means for us in this world and in the kingdom to come. The more we can navigate this world of lies, deceptive teaching and antichrists, with the eternal truth living in us, with Jesus alive in us, the more we can walk in love, obeying his commands, loving one another in humility and with sacrifice.” (Adapted from P. Jason Park’s message)
Prayer: Father, help us to grow in the truth of who Jesus is as we read your word so that we can better love in truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Echo Holy” by Red Rock Worship. (Click here)
1 John 3:18 (NIV) 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
“The close connection between truth and love in the Johannine writings is worth thinking about, for in our modern way of thinking truth is cognitive while love is emotional, and the two are not necessarily related. For the elder and author of 1 John, they are so closely related that they are essentially concomitant; one cannot love genuinely apart from the truth, and one does not know truth truly until one loves. We cannot think rightly about ourselves or others until we perceive the truth that is revealed only in Jesus Christ: that we are all sinners whose sin separates us from God and from one another, and especially from those we would most wish to love. Any ‘love’ based on something other than the reality of the human condition is merely wishful thinking, falsely based on an illusion that things are other than they are.” (Karen Jobes, 1, 2, and 3 John, 258)
Prayer: Father, I confess to you that I cannot love apart from your truth. Help me today to think rightly about my life and how you love me in truth so that I can love others in truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Here Again” by Elevation Worship. (Click here)
2 John 4-6 (NIV) 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
“These new believers are now walking in the truth, walking with Jesus, the living, eternal truth himself. This whole process of loving one another, reaching out to others, loving them and walking with them in the truth – this is what the Father has commanded us to do…This needs to be constantly renewed and passed on. It’s not my idea, or even the elder John’s idea – it’s Jesus’ idea, it’s the Father’s command, it’s God’s will for us as human beings, especially as children of God, to love one another. Here, to love is specified as walking in obedience to God’s command. And what is God’s command? To walk in love; to live out together Jesus’ love.” (Adapted from P. Jason Park’s message)
Prayer: Father, we say yes to your command to walk in love! Renew me in your love today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “One and Only Jesus” by Vertical Worship. (Click here)
Let’s read aloud the following scripture and prayer.
1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) 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.
“Holy Spirit, breath of God and fire of love, I cannot pray without your aid: Kindle in me the fire of your love, and illumine me with your light; that with a steadfast will and holy thoughts I may approach the Father in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who reigns with you and the Father in eternal union. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer)
Prayer: Thank you for the fire of love in our hearts. We pray, breathe on us even more Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to “Spirit of God” by New Life Worship (click here)