Love is of Light

"9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." 1 John 2:9-11

Do you sometimes struggle to treat your brother, sister, or friend with love even though you really do love them? When are the times that are the most difficult to treat them with love? Maybe it is when your emotions don’t feel very loving. Maybe it is when you think that they don’t deserve your kindness because of how they are acting. No matter the reason though, John reminded us yesterday that fighting through these difficult times to love our brothers and sisters in Christ is one of the most important commandments because Jesus’ message was one of pure love!
However, the secessionists who left the group of Christians that John is writing to didn’t think this command to love other Christians was important at all. They claimed that they were in the light and that God was pleased with them, but they did not fight to love the others. Nor did they believe in Jesus who was the ultimate expression of God’s love.
This brings us back to one of John’s favorite illustrations: light and darkness. Like we talked about last week, if we truly are abiding in God, we enter into light. And one way we know that we are in the light is if we make a deep effort to love other Christians like Jesus first loved us. However, like the secessionists who were blind to their need for Jesus and to the importance of loving one another, if we think it is acceptable to hate our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are truly in the darkness. And the darkness is a very lonely place to be.

Question for reflection and discussion
Matthew 5:23-24 says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Do you have a brother or sister with whom you should reconcile before you come before God?

Dear God, sometimes it can be so difficult to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, we thank You that You help us to love them better and better. We pray that You would continue to let Your light shine in us by the way we love others. Amen.