The Loudest Love

1 John 2:7-11 (NIV)
Dear 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. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
What is the old command to which John was referring in verse 7?  Love one another.  This was Jesus’ message from the very beginning and now the Apostle John was reminding his readers that this “old command” was still in effect.  Yet, he also told of a new command as it relates to the church.
Anyone who hates their brother or sister is in the darkness.  Those who love their brothers and sisters in Christ have moved from darkness to light.  The darkness blinds those who hate.  Christ shines the light of love into the hearts of those who love.  
We live in a world full of hatred.  One religious group hates another.  One political group hates another.  One group of sports fans hates another.  One nation hates another.  There is so much hatred in our world that to love is almost counter-cultural.  This is why there has to be love in the church.  Jesus said that we would be known by our love for one another.  John says that if we don’t love each other, the love of God is not in us.  
One of God’s deepest desires is that we love one another.  Why?  Because love speaks volumes!  In a world where so many groups hate one another (even those in the same group!), what does it say about a group of people who love each other despite their differences?  It says that there just might be something to their message.  We can stand up and scream our Theology at people and they won’t care.  We can get on a soapbox and go on tirades about Truth and they won’t care.  We’ll be just a crashing cymbal in the orchestra of noise in our world.  But if we will truly love one another as Jesus said to do, then we will stand out as different.  Our love will make the world take notice.  They’ll want to hear about the Truth of Jesus Christ because we have put His Gospel into practice by loving each other.  If you have a beef with a brother or sister in Christ, go to them and clear it up.  If you find yourself hating someone in your church, get it resolved.  It’s not good for you and it’s not good for them.  It certainly isn’t good for the Kingdom.  Let’s resolve to love each other unconditionally as God first loved us.
PRAYER: Father, help me to love my church family today.  Help me to deal with the hatred I have hidden in my heart.  Help me to overcome hatred with love that I might be a living testimony to the power of Jesus’ love.  In His mighty name I ask these things, amen.

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