Topic: Living In Death? [Friday 6, October 2017]
Memorise: We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. – 1 John 3:14
Read: 1 John 3:11-16 (KJV)
11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 1-3, Daniel 3:24-4:3, Hymn: Sing Hymn 9 – On The Hill Far Away
Do you know that it is very possible for one to be alive but living in death? Any man who does not have the life of God, manifested as new life in Christ Jesus, is dead even though he or she is physically alive. If you have received the new life of Christ, you have the nature of God, and one of the defining characteristics of this nature is love (1 John 4:16). This is why the Lord Jesus Christ emphasised that there is no greater commandment than that which is anchored on love for God and love for fellow men (Matthew 22:37-40). You cannot claim to love God when you have hatred and bitterness towards your fellow men. Where there is no love, there will be deceit. There is a lot of deceit in the interpersonal relationships between people today. Do you really love, or are you pretending to love? If you live a life of love, you are living in Christ; but if you are only pretending to love when deep inside you there is so much hatred and evil-plotting against your brother, then you are living in death. The new life in Christ is a spiritual experience that puts an end to all forms of bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness in your heart. Manifesting love for God and love for others around you showcases the real image of God in you, which is characterised by purity, holiness and righteousness .
At the root of all the displacement, destruction and crime witnessed all over the world is the absence of love. Love is at the core of man’s existence. Love is the root of our salvation, and so, nothing genuine can be achieved among brethren if there is no love. When you have love, you will show compassion for those suffering and be willing to help. When you walk in love, you will no longer keep records of wrong done against you by others. Rather, you will let go and let God have His way in your life. True love is not easily offended, and it is always willing to forgive. It is this love that enables you to show kindness to those who hurt you, even though you have the power to harm or punish them. You choose to ignore their deeds because you know that there is nothing you have that you have not received from God. The word of God says prophecy and knowledge will fail, but love will always stand the test of time. Don’t envy others to the point of getting bitter with them. It is not a sign of love. Instead, let us encourage one another. You should not take other people for granted or malign others because you feel superior to them. A child of God should not revenge anything done against him or her, because vengeance is the Lord’s. Are you walking in love, or are you living in death?
Key Point: If you love God, you won’t hate your fellow men
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.