A love choice

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Praise God for the way he has proved his love for you by doing all that was necessary to make you a part of his family.


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Bible passage: 1 John 2:1-14


1 John 2

 1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

 3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

 7Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

 9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
 12I write to you, dear children,
      because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
 13I write to you, fathers,
      because you have known him who is from the beginning.
   I write to you, young men,
      because you have overcome the evil one.
   I write to you, dear children,
      because you have known the Father.
 14I write to you, fathers,
      because you have known him who is from the beginning.
   I write to you, young men,
      because you are strong,
      and the word of God lives in you,
      and you have overcome the evil one.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


Audio Bible passage


The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


Explore the Bible


Choose to love
Films, social media and popular music would have us believe that love is an unpredictable emotion rather than an act of our will. So we ‘fall in love’ rather than ‘choose to love’. Love, as modelled by Jesus, was a deliberate choice to love the undeserving. Love was proved, not in words or feelings but in self-sacrificing action (v 2).

Jesus expected his followers to copy him (see John 15:12,13). Seventy years later, John reminds Christians that nothing has changed (vs 4,6,7); and 2,000 years on, the message remains the same: we are to love God’s family (vs 9–11).

God’s family
There’s the rub! We don’t get to choose who belongs to God’s family, God does. God’s family, as the song says, is made up of ‘all kinds of kinds’, which is why relationships within the church can be so difficult. Living as Jesus did means we too must choose to love fellow Christians which, at times, will be painful and costly.

Are we ready to sacrifice our time, our emotional energy, our pride, to love God’s family? When we choose to love, we allow more of God’s light to push away the darkness (v 8).


Respond


Think about your local fellowship. Who do you find difficult to love? Make a choice to love today. How will you put this decision to love into action?

Penny Boshoff


Deeper Bible study


Today’s passage brings us to the very heart of our faith. John is a realist. Throughout this letter he holds together the tension of our being in the light (v 9) and yet continuing to sin – a paradox we may struggle to grasp, yet one that every Christian understands in his or her own experience.

One of the lies our culture feeds us is that when we do wrong, it’s not our fault. It’s the fault of our upbringing, social forces, our workplace, family pressures and so on. What we did, we persuade ourselves, was not really sin. Not that there’s anything new about our blaming someone else. You only have to go to the first story in the Bible to find Adam blaming Eve and Eve blaming the snake.

John disabuses us of this idea when we read 1 John 1:8–10 and the beginning of chapter 2. Every one of us is responsible for the sin we commit – and sin is serious. It alienates us from God. This would be intolerable – which is why we go to such lengths to excuse ourselves. However, there is a way to forgiveness and cleansing. Jesus Christ bore the full weight of our guilt on the cross. God is light, utterly pure, and can have nothing to do with sin – but he loves us, sinners though we are. How can he find reconciliation with us? There are mysteries here.

There is no need to presume that an angry God is venting his anger on his son – this human analogy breaks down because Jesus is God. He took our sins on himself. How well we grasp this is measured by our behaviour (v 6) as we embrace his values, priorities and attitudes.

Annabel Robinson


Bible in a year


Read the Bible in a year:

Isaiah 53,54

Psalms 108,109

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Remain in me, as I also remain in you

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Audio


Written by: Andy Green
Performed by: Andy and Wendy Green
Copyright: © 2009 Cornerhouse Music
You can buy this song here


Comments
  • Rachael Hampton | Monday, 26 September 2016

    Yes, love is a decision, an act of the will at times. We cannot love as Jesus loves based solely on feelings. But I have found very helpful the teaching that because Jesus lives within us we already HAVE all the fruits of the spirit, of which love is the first. So instead of reaching out, and straining for those virtues, we have simply to yield to what is already there, and allow it to flow forth. And then of course, make the decision to act. May you each know the richness of dwelling on and in His love today WL family, especially those with special needs, like you dear Eileen. So grateful for our families - your daughter Eileen, and for your son's help David. May God bless him with a job, and the gift of salvation.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    I have a note in my bible by v 7 & 8 to see John 13:34. "A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another" The old commandment of love became new through the example of Jesus in a way that mere words could never have expressed. Such love, pure as the whitest snow Such love, weeps for the shame I know Such love, paying the debt I owe O Jesus, such love Such love, stilling my restlessness Such love, filling my emptiness Such love, showing me holiness O Jesus, such love Such love, springs from eternity Such love, streaming through history Such love, fountain of life to me O Jesus, such love

  • Brenda Hill | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    #Biblepassage:1John 2:6 "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." We love Jesus because of what we are and because of His love for us we live in His name. Because we love him we living in love for Him and we love that it is busy with in us.so we lovely to have the love for Jesus concerned in us.

  • Matt Loe | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Praying for you also Eileen, how great to have the WL family send up so many prayers and I pray for quick answers and a speedy recovery for you. David, thanking God that your son has been such a great support for you, wonderful news and may God gently nudge him! Thelma, if I had spent all day yesterday trying to write your comment more eloquently, I would have failed! Beautifully put and written! Thank you. Have a great day everyone. M

  • Helen Humby | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Love that song Gilvin. Its one of my favourites. https://youtu.be/_XRTUk5vbNY if any one wants to listen.

  • Derek Forster | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n to earth come down; Fix in us Your humble dwelling; All Your faithful mercies crown. Jesus, You are all compassion, Pure, unbounded love You are; Visit us with Your salvation; Enter ev’ry trembling heart. Breathe, O breathe Your loving Spirit, Into ev’ry troubled breast! Let us all in You inherit, Let us find the promised rest; Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; End of faith, as its beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

  • Adam Julians | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    What a comfort to be reminded that Jesus appeals to the Father on our behalf and also a challenge to do what Jesus commands. Great points about choosing to love and already having that in us.

  • Tim Berry | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Explore - There’s the rub! We don’t get to choose who belongs to God’s family, God does. God’s family, as the song says, is made up of ‘all kinds of kinds’, which is why relationships within the church can be so difficult. Living as Jesus did means we too must choose to love fellow Christians which, at times, will be painful and costly. I think this is one of our greatest opportunities to show the love of Jesus to the world. If everyone in the church was "lovely and loveable", what witness would that be. Anyone would love them. But if we have difficult, awkward, challenging and unlovely people in our church and we are seen to "love" them, what a witness that is. How very sad that often the opposite is seen.

  • Tim Berry | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Explore - There’s the rub! We don’t get to choose who belongs to God’s family, God does. God’s family, as the song says, is made up of ‘all kinds of kinds’, which is why relationships within the church can be so difficult. Living as Jesus did means we too must choose to love fellow Christians which, at times, will be painful and costly. I think this is one of our greatest opportunities to show the love of Jesus to the world. If everyone in the church was "lovely and loveable", what witness would that be. Anyone would love them. But if we have difficult, awkward, challenging and unlovely people in our church and we are seen to "love" them, what a witness that is. How very sad that often the opposite is seen.

  • Teresa Ballard | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    V10: If we love others we are in the light - Love is a choice, not a feeling, and is often a very difficult choice, particularly if we are feeling betrayed or unjustly criticised. Choosing to love those whom others (& we!) don’t like or get along with easily is a strong witness to those around us, whether it be in work, in family or in church. We shed God’s light into the world when we make the choice to love. In giving love, feelings of familial affection may well follow – but maybe not! If we pray Teach me to love as you would love, we shouldn’t be surprised when someone pops up to test us! The person we find frustrating or irritating, who tries our patience and our self-control, may continue to do so even after we feel we have given, and given, and given again. To follow Jesus and to be like him needs, and brings, constant refinement of the fruit of the Spirit within us. Job 23:10 But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. May our words and actions shine some of God’s light into the lives of those we meet today, W/L family. Thank you to everyone who posts – daily you shine God’s light into my life with your words.

  • John Mash | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    #Today's reading reminds me of a rhyme I heard some time ago: To dwell above with saints we love, That will be grace and glory. To dwell below with saints we know - That's quite another story. Not always easy to love fellow Christians, but we must try. It can be rewarding.

  • Ruth Lewis | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Still praying for you DAVID and also your son. Continuing to pray for you also EILEEN.

  • David Chipchase | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    1. In v10 what is the Greek word used for love? 2. I wonder what comments John could have made for mothers and young women?

  • David Chipchase | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Thank you all for your support; I feel we had a very profitable day.

  • David Chipchase | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Andrea, I can't remember any follow up comment on your appointment about macular disease. I hope all went well.

  • Andrea Harris | Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Thankyou David for remembering. I am still waiting for my appointment to come through. Should be some time in November or December. In the meantime I am eating lots of spinach, carrots and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables! All supposed to be good for the eyes. I too have been praying for your son and giving thanks for his support for you. God bless all our WL family.

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