Episode #233. Today we’ll read 1 John chapter 3 together. John calls us Little Children and tells us what God’s love in action looks like.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #233. Today we’ll read 1 John chapter 3 together: John calls us Little Children and tells us what God’s love in action looks like.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
My book club met this past week to discuss the final of five relationship secrets for loving like Jesus, in the book, Love Like That, by Les Parrott. The trait? Self-giving.
I have to admit that this challenged me, perhaps more than any of the others. It required me to look inside and the view wasn’t pretty. How do we become more self-giving?
He talked about selfishness, the golden rule, and going the extra mile. But the thing that struck so close to home for me, was a concept he learned from Scott Peck, the author of The Road Less Traveled. It is the act of emptying oneself of expectation; of holding one’s own desires loosely.
I spend a great deal of time trying to get people to do what I want, and I don’t like it when life doesn’t go my way. I can spend days or even weeks in a stew because something – or someone – did not cooperate with how I thought something should play out. And none of this looks like Jesus. But listen to what the author wrote:
We fuss and fume. But when we empty ourselves of this compulsive need to have our own way – when we lose our life, as it were – something almost mystical takes place deep within our soul. We find our life. (Ah, so that’s what Jesus meant when He said to find your life, you must lose it.) He goes on to say, When we surrender our selfishness, we are no longer limited to defining our happiness by merely getting what we want. Emptying ourselves of the burden to always get our way frees our soul and opens the way to understanding others. It opens the door for empathy.
I have much to ponder in learning to love like Jesus. What do you think? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I highly recommend the book, Love Like That, and have a link in the show notes and at Lifting Her Voice.com.
1 John Chapter 3
See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children — and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed so that he might take away sins, and there is no sin in him. Everyone who remains in him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen him or known him.
Little children, let no one deceive you. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s works. Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. This is how God’s children and the devil’s children become obvious. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother or sister.
Love in Action
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him — how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.
This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows all things.
Believe in the Name and Love One Another
Dear friends, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commands and do what is pleasing in his sight. Now this is his command: that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps his commands remains in him, and he in him. And the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he has given us.
This is a meaty chapter. I don’t know about you, but I was up and down and sideways, comforted one moment and feeling guilty the next. Now, I might be the only one, but I know good and well that I sin. How could John say that I don’t?
But let’s pause and use our secret weapon, which is taking a deep breath and considering what we know to be true about God and Jesus. I know we haven’t read the Old Testament yet, but we have read Paul and James and they both quote Genesis 15:6. I think it applies here.
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Jesus took the punishment for our sin – past, present, and future. As He hung on that cross, He knew every sin we would commit, even though we weren’t even born. And if we believe, it is counted to us as righteousness, just like Abram.
If you admit that you are a sinner and you believe that Jesus is God’s Son and bore God’s wrath for your sin, you have been saved from any further judgement. When God looks down from His heavenly throne at you, He doesn’t see your sin. He sees Jesus. Now, read this chapter again, and see if it makes more sense. Let’s pray.
Lord, thank You. When I look at me, all I see are my shortcomings and I feel the regret of all of my bad decisions. To think that You have separated me from my sin as far as the east is from the west, and that You remember them no more, as Your word says, is still incredible to me. After all these years, my joy overflows as if I’m hearing it for the first time. Thank You, a thousand times, thank You, that we who have believed are counted not only as Your creations, but as Your children. And all God’s children said, Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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