Thursday, July 19, 2012

Walk the Paths of Love

On Thursdays, I’ve been sharing a little bit of what I have been learning as I read through 1 John. 

Over the last few we weeks we have been looking at a passage about love.  John shares how love for God and obedience go hand in hand.  He lifts up Jesus as the perfect example of obedient love, saying those who wish to love God will live as Christ did.  Then, John writes of a commandment that is both old and new—to love one another.  This love is always new, because each act of love is different from the one that precedes it. 

Now, John writes about love toward others who are in the family of Christ. 

“Those who claim to be in the light but hate a fellow believer are still in the darkness.  Those who love their fellow believers live in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  But those who hate a fellow believer are in the darkness and walk around in the darkness; they do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”  1 John 2:9-11 TNIV
Remember how John talked about walking in the light and walking in darkness?  He uses this language again to talk about love toward fellow believers.  The one who loves walks in the light.  The one who hates walks in darkness.

I was particularly struck by the language in verse 10.  “Those who love their fellow believers live in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.”

When we love others there is nothing in us to make us stumble.

I spent some time thinking about what it might look like to live this way.

This is how it came out…

Bitterness, jealousy, grudges
Leave them behind.
There is no place for them in love.

Seek a clean slate.
Move through conflict to pursue peace.
Root out all traces of hate.
Walk the paths of love.

Work toward the good of others.
When hurt comes surging back into memory,
Cast it into the arms of Christ.
He knows how to love in the middle of pain.

Be fully present.
Listen with all your attention.
Learn to hold your tongue, keeping hurtful words in check.
Speak the truth in love.

Keep truth before you.
Don’t replay your self-spun lies over and over again in your mind.
In the midst of brokenness,
Love one another.

Speak the kind of words that make souls stronger.
Pray them right into your heart.
Honor others with your actions.
Love and walk in the light.

Hear the words of Jesus about relating to others in the Sermon on the Mount.
“If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”  Matthew 5:23-24 NASB
It can be a big challenge to love others. 

Yet, this is what we have been called to do.

Let’s live seeking to do just that.


Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we seek to love others, especially others who trust Christ as we do.  May we find that living in love indeed keeps us from stumbling.  May we rely on His strength when it is hard.  And may it be to His glory when we succeed in living as He has called us to live.

Jessica :)

P.S.  The photos from this post were taken by my husband.  They are paths from walks we took in Acadia National Park on the Jordan Pond Trail and the Wonderland Trail.

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