Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. 1 John 2:7-11 (NLT)
Have you heard from me? Are you listening attentively to me? Have you heard the message that I want to convey to you? Do you understand how I want you to think and speak and act in the darkness of this world? Do you know how I want to use you to break down darkness in this world? Do you know how to stand out and shine brightly for me in the darkness of this world? Before you attempt to answer any of my questions, there is something that I want you to know. What is that? You can see the darkness of this world by the way people treat each other. How so? You can gauge the darkness of the world by the lack of love and the amount of hate you can see in it. So now, go ahead, answer the questions that I have asked of you. It is my desire to hear from you. I am listening attentively to you. I do believe I have heard the message you want to convey to me. I think I do know how you want me to think and speak and act in the darkness of this world. How so? You want me to follow your example. You want me to think and speak and act like you. You want me to become like you. You want me to love like you loved. You want me to serve like you served. You want me to give like you gave. If I think and speak and act like you, I will shine like a star in the universe. By loving and serving and giving, I will stand out, I will be different, I will be countercultural. People will be drawn to you, because they will see your life being lived out in and through me. Is that what you want? Yes, that is what I want. That is the desire of my heart. I want to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I want people to be drawn to you. I want people to one day come to live forever in heaven with you. That is true fruit, that will last for eternity. Yes, it will. Now, I know that this can only be accomplished by becoming like you, following your example, and doing what you did. That is true. That is what I will do, I will love others, with your help. That will be very good. You will have my help. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I will listen attentively to you. I will hear what you have to say to me. I will listen to your message. I will follow your example. Help me to love others just as you have loved me. Help me to love others and break down the unloving darkness in the world. Amen
Key Question… How is the love of Jesus Christ shining through you breaking down darkness in the world?
Living It Out… Make every effort to follow Christ’s example to love others, even those who seem unlovable.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that the Lord will help you to love others to break down unloving darkness in the world.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how you are extending love to seemingly unlovable people.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you love others and break down darkness in the world.
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