Loving Other Christians-1 John 4:19-21

1 John 4:19-21 “We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

1 Giovanni 4:19-21 « Noi amiamo perché egli ci ha amati per primo. 20 Se uno dice: «Io amo Dio», ma odia suo fratello, è bugiardo; perché chi non ama suo fratello che ha visto, non può amare Dio che non ha visto. 21 Questo è il comandamento che abbiamo ricevuto da lui: che chi ama Dio ami anche suo fratello.”

 

     John has a way of writing that is crystal clear. There is no ambiguity in these verses and no question of interpretation. It is straight forward and leaves no room for asking questions, exceptions or excuses.

    Someone might say, “I don’t hate my brother. I just don’t like him.” But the text really teaches us about hateful attitudes toward others. John says if we don’t love our brother, our love for God is a lie. It is easy to say that we love people in the world because we don’t know them. But John is not referring to the general idea of loving people. His message is directed at believers who somehow think they can separate loving God from loving people in the church. Both of these, our love for God and our love toward believers must intersect or they will cancel each other out. Even after living for three years with Jesus, the disciples had difficulty loving one another. They were at times overcome with jealousy, had anger toward one another and blamed each other when things didn’t go well. When Jesus was ready to go to the cross, He prayed a prayer for them that they would be one (John 17:20-21). These verses not only mention the disciples, but “those who will believe in me through their message.”

Yes, Jesus mentions you and me in this prayer as we are the direct representatives of those who will believe in Him because of our message.

Pray with me: Lord, I know that I have or have had issues with believers in the past and although I may not hate them, I don’t truly love them either. Help me to change my attitude and response with Your help and love the difficult people that also claim You as their Lord so I can see the blessed harmony of loving God and my brother.



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