The Supreme Command
Lord, You have given me the gift of hope in Jesus Christ. May I be hopeful and hope-filled each day.
Read 1 John 2:1-14
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.
“Our Lord told his disciples that love and obedience were organically united. The final test of love is obedience” (A. W. Tozer).
It is good that vs. 1 and 2 are there, because the rest of this passage could be rather depressing. Verses 3-14 are a meditation on John 15:12, including warnings about unreality and the awfulness of lack of love. Love is the key indicator that we know Jesus (3-5a), the key feature of the Christ-likeness we must display (5b, 6), the key component of Jesus’ teaching (7), and the key sign of the birth of the age to come and the shining of the Light (8-10). If love is not present, then darkness is reigning, whatever else might seem to be the case (11).
In vs. 12-14, John explains and displays the kind of love he means: a love that isn’t a vague warm emotion, but a discriminating and knowing commitment to the good of the other. John doesn’t think only about his readers from a distance, he writes to them, knowing them intimately and wanting to give them a gift appropriate to their situation and their needs. To the young, he gives something that builds on their joyful awareness of forgiveness and their intimacy with God as Father (12,14a); to the older people, he gives something that encourages them in their knowledge of God (13a,14b); to those in their prime, he offers something that directs their strength, ambition and sense of purpose (13b,14c). This is love in action!
But how good it is that the passage begins with vs. 1 and 2. Love is growing in us, but who can claim that God’s love is “made complete” in them (5)? It might be so for John the apostle, after a lifetime of walking in the Light, but for the rest of us, we constantly need to be coming back to “Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1) for forgiveness.
Do just that: claim vs. 1 and 2 for yourself and ask for the growth of this Christ-like love in you.
Loving Lord, today may I truly fulfill Your command to “love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
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