“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[b] if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” 1 John 3.11-15
When John says, “for this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another,” from whom did he hear it? Jesus? Absolutely! Jesus spoke about love more than a dozen times. He reminds us to love one another (John 13.34), and that love has no greater friend than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15.15). Jesus is the model for John’s message. When he says to the church that they should love each other it is foundational to who they are in Christ.
In contrast, John illustrates using the example of Cain and Abel, who “belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.” But as John says, “do not be like Cain.” And as a result of our loving actions, the world will hate us. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other.” This is no easy task but once we begin loving each other we can no longer keep a hold on evil. This is the key to freedom from sin and death is love. Finally, John tells us that “anyone who does not love remains in death,” and as a result, “no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” So let’s obey the words of Jesus and “love one another.”
So now that we know we must love to have eternal life and to be like Jesus, how do we do this? How do we capture the Spirit of Christ, flee from the world, and run to the Savior? We become like Jesus. Moment by moment, day by day, we love our brother and sister. We do not hate one single person. We might not like others but we give them to the Lord and ask him to be the judge.
Our daily actions matters. Our attitude matters. Our response to the people and the world around us matters. Won’t you be like Jesus? Practice loving and let’s give evil a rest.
“O Lord God, you are good. I am but your servant and thankful that I get to praise your name and live another day. I thank you for the joy of walking abundantly today with you and eternally to come. I know there is so much pain, hatred and evil in this world. Would you come again and rescue your people? Call everyone to yourself. Make yourself known once again among the nations. Come Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love for you are good and your love endures forever.’ Amen