Sunday, July 18, 2021

Love One Another

If we are to love each other like Jesus loves us, then we have to understand the little letter called 1 John. This book is all about fellowship -- sharing the burdens of life, making them easier for everyone to carry. "We must love one another," said Jesus. It's true. We really must.

Here Karen Jobes reminds us that the book of 1 John probably originated as a sermon the apostle gave to his congregation.

That would explain the lack of any mention of the author at the beginning. The focus is not on John, it's on Jesus, "the life-giving message." Can you imagine for a moment what it must have been like to have heard, IN PERSON, the apostle John himself as he spoke the opening words of this letter:
God's message of life was alive when the world began, and yet I myself have seen him with my own eyes and have listened to him speak with my own ears. I have touched him with my own hands -- this "Word of Life." He who is life from God has been shown to us apostles and we guarantee that we have seen him. I am speaking about Christ, who is eternal life. He was with the Father and then was revealed to us.

Let me repeat: we are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may share the fellowship we have with the Father and with Jesus Christ his Son. And if you do as I say in this letter, you too will be full of joy, and so will we.
None of us is perfect, and we need each other desperately. Yes, we will fail each other. We will disappoint even those closest to us. We must look at our church family and see their value before their failures, must forgive and forgive and forgive. In this, we are merely demonstrating the mercy shown to us by Christ.