Passage of the Day: 1st John 2: 10 … Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
My Journal for Today: Have you ever been somewhere, perhaps at an airport or at a rest-stop while traveling on the road, where you engaged someone you didn’t know in conversation; and during the conversation you discovered that this person declared himself/herself to be “a Christian?” At that moment of discovery, did you not feel immediately drawn to that “stranger,” … as if the discovery was of a lost family member?
Some time ago, a man, whom I’d never seen nor met before, saw me wearing a t-shirt with a Christian ministry logo on it in a store where we were both shoppers; and he said, “Hey, I like that t-shirt; … tell me about what it means.” Well, within a few moments we were revealing very deep and personal information about ourselves to one another – mutual testimonies of our love for Christ. It’s that way when Christian “strangers” meet others in the body of Christ. They are not really strangers; … WE are family! And when we meet another brother or sister in Christ for the first time, as born-again believers, there is, as the Apostle John says in today’s verse, “… nothing in [us] to make [us] stumble …” in our interaction with one another.
And in this truth and reality we have another of the eleven criteria that help us know we are truly IN CHRIST. Christians, the “real-deal” believers, really love one another; and they learn over time that love is not a feeling, … it is a choice! Paul wrote about the reason for this reality in Romans 5: 5, when he penned, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Genuine Christians are drawn to one another in the fellowship of believers [i.e., the family of God], because God’s love has been poured into our hearts; and God’s love draws Christians toward other Christians like moths drawn to the light. And certainly we know Whom THE Light is in our Christian hearts – HE IS CHRIST!
Peter encouraged believers to use God’s love to pour out themselves, in this Love, to others (see 1st Peter 1: 22). And I believe that real Christians just sense the love of God when it is consciously poured out to – or from - a fellow believer, … just as I felt it with that man, whom I’d never seen or known before, … who called our brotherhood to my attention when he saw my t-shirt. Remember Jesus said that the exhibit of God’s love shared between believers would the prime way non-believers would KNOW real Christians when they see them interacting (see John 13: 35). So, John in his first epistle (see 1st John 3: 14 – 18), is teaching a wonderful and strong sign of our Christianity, … that Christians will simply choose to love one another. Christians can’t hate one another, even if/when they don’t like the behavior of another Christian. And I’d almost bet right now you’re thinking of another Christian whom you’ve chosen to love even though that person doesn’t act in a very “Christian” manner. And the fact that you can choose to love them, in spite of their unlovable or unchristian behavior, is a sign that God is in you, enabling you, by His grace, to pour His love into that relationship.
So, be encouraged by your salvation when you find yourself being drawn to the family of God, or especially when you find yourself reaching out to love a somewhat unlovable fellow believer. It’s a strong sign that you are truly saved.
My Prayer Today: O Lord, let Your love come through me! Amen