April 12, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Love One Another
Highlighted Text – 1 John 3:11-24
Key verse: 1 John 3:11
“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”
We live in a world where love is a word used ever so frequently, but rarely put into action. A word full of so much passion, positives and purpose is the least chosen when compared to words like selfishness, prejudice, evil and hatred. The word love does not require major monetary donations, a grand good deed or even gigantic sacrifice. It only takes a little effort, willingness by any person to show kindness, respect and appreciation for life.
Operating in Love (1 John 3:11-20)
This letter was written to the churches in Asia Minor to remind them to love one another. The highlighted passage begins by referencing the first murder that occurred between two brothers, Cain and Abel. What would make a brother hate so much that he would want to harm his own brother, more less, kill him? The same issues that mankind have been dealing with ever since; carnality, sin. Our lesson guide states that, “An unchecked attitude of anger, jealousy, and hatred can harden the heart, making it implacable. Our harsh words may not result in a person’s death; however, words and actions can assassinate someone’s character and destroy self-esteem.” God is love and when we operate the opposite of love, we as Christians are not representing our Father.
Point to Ponder: Do you intentionally strive to operate in love?
Motivated by Love (1 John 3:21-24)
In order for us to intentionally operate in love, we have to be motivated to do so. This motivation should be thrived by our natural desire to want to help others and see good happen in their lives. If for no other reason, the love that God showed us through his only son Jesus, should motivate us to demonstrate love; show kindness, be patient, respect one another. Love derives from the heart. If our heart is not pure, it hinders our prayer life. Have you ever wondered why it seemed as though you really could not hear from God an extended period of time and was not at peace? Sin separates God from choosing to hear and answer our prayers (ref. Isaiah 59:1-2). If we genuinely allow the Spirit of God to dwell within us, we will be motivated to love and have the ability to operate in love even in the most challenging situations.
Point to Ponder: What motivates your daily actions?
As Christians, when we find it difficult to operate in love, we should ponder over this verse: “If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21).
Urban Ministries, Direction