Love one another!
Scripture reading for November 23rd: 1st John 3
“See how great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! . . .Dear friend, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1st John 3:1-3)
John encouraged the Church with a revelation of their identity–children of God! What great love that believers have had ‘lavished’ on them: Adopted into God the Father’s family and given an inheritance in His eternal kingdom! We don’t yet fully comprehend all that this means. The full revelation will come when Jesus Christ appears again and we will be instantly changed to have glorious bodies like His body! (1st Corinthians 15:51-54) The hope of His appearing should result in an eager desire in each believer to be pure and holy when He comes. “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
Practical holiness involves love. “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. . . . .We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” (1st John 3:11,14) Love of our brothers is not an option in the kingdom of God and Christ. We are deceiving ourselves if we say we love God and hate our brothers. Jesus laid His life down for His brothers and we must do likewise. We can test ourself: Do I love my brother (or sister?) Our identity leads to this response to Christ’s love: “Love one another!”