“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”            1 John 3:11 NIV


A woman was surprised at church one day when another woman, who had often snubbed her, went out of her way to give her a big hug before the service. She wondered what had initiated her change of heart. She got her answer at the end of the service when the pastor instructed, “Your assignment for next week is the same as last week. I want you to go out there and love somebody you just can’t stand” (adapted from Reader’s Digest, [4/02], p. 48). If loving others were only as easy as giving a hug to someone you don’t like, we could all excel in love. Just hug them and move on! Love is a bit more difficult than that! It requires continual effort, because at the heart of loving others is putting the other person ahead of yourself, and that is always a huge battle. For this reason, the New Testament as a whole and the apostle John in this letter never tires of encouraging us to love one another. John had seen the love of Christ demonstrated that night in the Upper Room when Jesus took the basin of water and washed the disciples’ feet. Then John saw the supreme demonstration of Christ’s love when He willingly went to the cross to die for our sins. The “son of thunder” became known as the “apostle of love”. If we get weary of hearing over and over about the need to love one another, we should remember that John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who knows our hearts. We need to examine ourselves constantly because our default mode is to revert to selfishness, not to love.



Lord, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, may Your love flow through us.



Holy Spirit, help us to examine ourselves constantly because we know that our default mode is to revert to selfishness, not to love. Spread the love of Jesus afresh in our hearts so we will love one another. AMEN


I.B.R.A. Readings

Romans 10:5-13



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