Living And Loving Well

1 John 3:7-10 (NIV)
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
According to John, here are two identifying marks of a child of God:
  1. Righteous living
  2. Love for others
If we are filled with God’s Spirit, we will live a life that is noticeably different than the world around us.  We know that we are not perfect and that we do sin.  But instead of living lives that are characterized by sinfulness and selfishness, the life of a Christian is lived for God and not for the self.  We talk differently.  We act differently.  We think differently.  Why?  Because we are the children of the King.  Our lives reflect – either poorly or well – on our Father.  Are you living for Jesus or are you living for sin?
The same thing goes for how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The church should be known as a house of love.  Our lives should be filled with love, compassion, grace and forgiveness for our brothers and sisters.  Instead of allowing differences and grievances to separate us, we need to allow the grace of God to unite us.  That means forgiving each other and loving each other unconditionally.  Let’s face it.  We are all human and sinful.  Sometimes our differences divide us and we cannot work things out.  That’s why we need grace to bridge the gap between us.  The Apostle Paul had a falling out with Barnabas because of a young man named Mark (the Gospel writer) in Acts 15.  They had to separate for a while and then they were able to reunite and Paul had some very positive things to say about Mark (2 Timothy 4:11).
Think about these two things today.  How are you living?  Are you living a life of righteousness for Jesus?  How are you loving?  Are you loving your brothers and sisters in Christ?  Are you forgiving them and working out your differences?  Or are you holding grudges and bitterness in your heart?  Be a child of God today and live and love well.
PRAYER: Father, I struggle with living and loving well.  Help me to live a life of righteousness and love today.  Thank You for filling me with Your Spirit and loving me so that I can love others.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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