Can’t let it go
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:20-21
I know a mother who, every year when her kids left for college, would give them a “mom talk,” reminding them to work hard, but more importantly to love God, love their churches, and obey God. Eventually her children started pre-empting her talk by giving themselves the “mom talk.” They knew it so well, they could recite it themselves.
As John wraps up chapter 4, he has encouraged his readers with a message about confidence, their love for God, and God’s perfect love for them. That’s a good place to stop, right?
Well, it turns out John has a “mom talk” that he won’t let go until he’s sure you know exactly how it goes. Do you know what it is? “Love God; love your brothers.” John keeps returning to this message so I hope you’re paying attention! This is one thing he needs you to remember.
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. What is the message John wants you to remember?
2. As you have been studying I John, have you noticed any other messages that the author repeats many times?
Dear God, You never give up on teaching us the things we need to know. Help us to learn them and put them into practice. In Jesus’ name, amen.