Truth and Love
Loving Lord God, I know how very much You love me and I’m greatly awed and humbled by that.
Read 2 JOHN 1-13
 The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth-and not I only, but also all who know the truth-  because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:  Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.  It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.  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.  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.  I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.  Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.  I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.  The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow does John define love for one another?
John was the only apostle to die naturally at a ripe old age; he might have been nearly 100. In his final years, unable to walk, he would apparently insist on being carried to church to teach. His message, it is said, was always the same: “little children, love one another.” Love is the most important thing—no one knew that better than John himself. But here, John stresses that love must not come at the cost of truth. Traveling teachers were coming and going through the early church preaching a message that departed from the apostle’s sound teaching.
In a culture that prized hospitality, to turn away these itinerant ministers would have felt very uncomfortable for this church; it wouldn’t have seemed very “loving.” But such was their potentially negative influence, John warns them to keep the door bolted. What’s the test they are told to use? Whether their teaching “abide[s] in the teaching of Christ” (9, ESV).
Are there times when we seek to excuse or overlook people’s sin because we don’t want to appear harsh or indifferent?
Lord Jesus, I ask You to teach me to love others with the same self-giving spirit with which You love me.
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