Love and Forgiveness
The last two days, I have been strongly convicted of love and forgiveness. I know that the Lord is speaking to me to be more loving and forgiving. I felt led to reread 1 John 3, and then wrote down these reflections.
1 John 3:1 "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!..."
John provides an insight into how we who profess to be Christians are to live: by loving our brothers and sisters. "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:10
Jesus provided the ultimate example of love by laying down his life for those he loves. "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." 1 John 3:16
Christianity is much more than one of the world's "great religions". True Christianity is a state of the heart. John is telling us that outward religion is not enough, that love for others is the result of the indwelling of the spirit. This is how we can distinguish those who are of God, from those who are not. One who truly loves his brother or sister in Christ harbors no bitterness. This "bitter root" (Hebrews 12:15) is a cancer that will grow until it destroys the one with whom it has a parasitic relationship.
This is the crux of our relationship with the Savior. Many times I feel guilty because I can not love the unlovable. This is a conviction of the Spirit of Christ. But if I am in Christ, the spirit leads me in truth and therefore to know that love is a choice. I can choose to ask the Father to give me the ability to love those whom I do not love on my own, to forgive those whom I cannot forgive on my own.
And the promise fulfilled is: "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them." 1 John 3: 21-22.