For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The Big Idea
We should love one another not with just our words but with our actions..
In 1984, the famous American singer Tina Turner came out with a song called “What does love have to do with it?” John seems to be answering this question. Love has everything to do with it! Love however isn’t just a feeling. Real love is demonstrated by action. John starts us off telling us not to be like Cain. The story of Cain can be found in Genesis chapter 4. Cain just like his brother Abel offered sacrifices to the Lord but the Lord didn’t look with favor on Cain's offering. This caused Cain to become angry and kill his brother Abel. John tells us that Cain belonged to the evil one. So first off we see that Cain’s identity was not found in the Lord. John also gives us the reason why, In verse 12 it says because of his own actions and that they were evil. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:20 that, by their fruit you will recognize them. The fruit that was produced by Cain was hatred and jealousy. The fruit that is produced by a follower of Jesus is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. This fruit is not manufactured, it is produced. It is produced by what (or Who) is in our heart.
What is the world's view of love? What is God's view of love?
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to get a good definition of what (Who) love is. Remember God is love!
John continues to give us a deeper understanding of what love is. He says love is laying down your life for others just as Jesus did. What does it mean to lay down your life for someone else? Again, this is not just telling someone how much you love them. It is showing it with our actions. We can love others by giving ourselves to meet the needs of others. This can be financial needs but it also can be giving our time, praying for one another and pouring into other people. As you watch the life of Jesus, He met the needs of people but He also spent time with them. Being a disciple of Jesus is following Jesus and doing what He did.
Give an example of when you used your time or resources to help someone. What do you think the Lord was trying to teach you through that experience?
Have you ever asked yourself “am I doing enough to love people or love Jesus?” This question is from the enemy. Jesus said on the cross, “it is finished!” Meaning that He did it all. Knowing this should motivate us to want to do. Our “doing” comes from “being” in Christ. John said that our hearts condemn us but God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything. Anytime you hear condemnation, know that it is from the enemy. Romans 8:1 says that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God will never lie to you but your heart and feelings will. This is why it is so important to spend time with the Lord by reading and memorizing His word. The word is how we fight against satan and his lies.
What verses do you go to when you hear the lies of the enemy?
How much time have you spent “being” with Jesus this week? How has it impacted your week?
We encourage each of you to take a break for the month of December. If possible, it would be great if you could have some sort of Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas party with your group or ask multiple groups to join in together. Groups will start back in January.