Staying on course in life is about knowing whom to follow. Following the wrong person will take you to the wrong place. We truly need to commit ourselves to following Jesus Christ. That means everything from obedience to trust. As we do that, it changes us. But, do you realize that following Jesus is about more than rules. It is mainly about love. God loves us and we love others. This is a truth that is inseparable from a follower of Jesus Christ.
Your Sins are Forgiven
“I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.” – 1 John 2:12
The verse says that our sins are forgiven on account of his name. He does not beg for mercy for us, but he asks for that which his own blood has been sacrificed for.
When we live in the light (with Jesus)—our life does express love. This love allows us to look at each other with humility because we recognize that we don’t deserve to the salvation we have received from Jesus. No matter what we have done, compared to whomever, we have been forgiven on Jesus’ account. We have no reason to hate anyone.
Now, how does this translate into love for others? What does this have to do with relationships?
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” 1 John 2:9
God’s Word lives in You
“I 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.” – 1 John 2:14
The word ‘known’ is repeated a few times in verse 13 and 14. The word is the Greek indicates that someone has come to know something by spending time, or through exposure. When I was first getting to know my wife, before she was my wife, we spent time talking together. We would sit for hours and ask each other questions and talk. As we did things together with other people, we learned more about each other. It is that experience, that time together, that helps build relationship.
This verse adds one key to help us to know God – His Word. This Word of God lives in us! That means it does a work in us. It causes us to recognize sin and to understand a little more about our place before God. It helps us to draw nearer to Him as we are exposed to it. And look at what happens.
1- Strength! We need strength don’t we. Everywhere we go we are bombarded with images and ideas that are counter God’s Word. Friends who don’t uphold God’s Word might lead you a completely different direction. We need strength.
2- Overcome evil – We also need to understand the spiritual reality. There is evil in the world that has been overcome by Jesus Christ. We are able to overcome him as well because of Jesus Christ—by the Word of God
When God’s Word lives in you it is active, working, shaping, and speaking to you. This affects all areas of life, especially relationships because we are told who we are in Christ and how we are to live with each other in unity and without gossip, slander, or false accusations. God’s Word is a remedy to relationship drama!
You are a Child of God
This is not something you earned. This was made possible because of Jesus Christ. You did not do anything to earn that place. It ia on the account of Jesus Christ that you are welcomed into the family and given a place of honor, a place of inheritance, and eternal life.
“In the days that followed the American war, many an incident was told of the tender bonds of fellowship and suffering, on the battlefield or in the Southern hospital – bonds which often gave the stranger a place in the old homestead as dear as that of the fallen soldier boy whom he had befriended. One such incident is related of a wretched tramp who called one day at a farmhouse in the west and was refuse, very naturally, by the suspicious housewife. But the stranger drew from his well-worn pocket a scrap of paper and handed it to the woman. It was the writing of her boy, and it told how this man had fought by his side and then had nursed him in the hospital until the last hour had come; and how, as these lines were being written, he was committing his dying body and his last messages home and mother to his hands; and it asked them, if they ever met, to receive him and love him as he had been loved and cherished, for his sake and in his name. That was enough.”
The haggard face and ragged dress and tramp-like appearance of the stranger were all forgotten, and the rough man was clasped in that mother’s arms and taken to that home circle as a child, for the sake of another.” – From the book The Life of Prayer by A.B. Simpson
This is how we have become identified with Jesus and our Father receives us in His name as He receives Him. This tears down barriers and removes hostilities. We don’t hate each other, we love. We have nothing to be angry about, we have been given eternal life in Jesus Christ.
Renew yourself tonight to the love of God and of His people. If you have a grudge against someone, it is time to end it—Jesus Christ has ended the hostility between us and God and we have no reason to hold any hostilities or anger. Hurts are real. People do evil things, but we must do all we can to allow the love of God to be a part of who we are. It is not an add-on – it is the essence of God’s work in us!