Daily Devotional Thoughts This Week’s Study: 1 John 4:19-5:13 Monday - We love Him because He first loved us. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Love awakens love.  God’s love reaches out to us in so many ways.  Last week we saw how God shows His love through the beauty of nature.  He shows His love through the love of good human relationships.  And yet, because of Satan’s continual attempts to hide God’s love we so often fail to discern the reality and depth of God’s love.  Our text reads, “We love Him because He first loved us.”  Jesus came to reveal the depth of God’s love.  He came because of His love for us.  Jesus lived a perfect life here amidst the muck of this sinful world. Then He carried the weight of the sins of the entire world to the cross.  That means He died for your sins and mine, and He did it because He loves us. He has prepared a place for us.  A place where we can be together throughout eternity.  He loves you very much.  Are you responding to that love?  “We love Him because He first loved us.”  If you never have, come to Jesus just now and let that love encircle and fill your life.  And if you belong to Jesus, be really intentional about sharing that love with others. Tuesday - God’s love displaces hate for our brother. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21). The love of God changes me.  I no longer have room in my life for hatred and bitterness toward my brother or sister here on this earth.  God’s love crowds that stuff out.  The apostle John makes a significant point when he asks, “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”  And besides, John writes, “this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”  So let’s take a moment and let God search our hearts.  How do we measure up?  Are we filled with love for all God’s children?  Or do we harbor hatred toward someone who has impacted our lives negatively? What do we do with our feelings toward someone who has unjustly abused us?  How do we handle the pain of past broken relationships?  Do we just live our life struggling against the cancer of bitterness in our soul?  God has good news for us!  When we really let Him into our lives, His love displaces all that.  It may not happen in an instant, but if we let Him continue His work, if we let His love permeate our lives, His love floods away all that hatred and pain and we are left real love. Won’t you  respond to that love today? Wednesday  - God’s commandments are not burdensome. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:2-3). How many times have you thought, now if only I could do this or if only I could do that. . . .  How many times have you felt hemmed in by God’s commandments?  You know, “Thou shalt not kill, steal, covet, commit adultery, take God’s name in vain, have you felt God was too severe when He asks you to honor His law?  Is God being hard on us when He asks us to respect life?  Honor relationships? Rest on the Sabbath day? The apostle John writes that God’s “commandments are not burdensome.”  Furthermore, John writes, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”  Rather than viewing God’s law as a fence keeping us from experiencing joy and happiness, we do well to view God’s commandments in their true light.  God’s law is designed to protect us from harm and danger. . . eternally!  It isn’t keeping us from joy, it is protecting us from harm and sadness! Some religious leaders tell us we can be saved and live in sin.  They might not put it that way, but the implication is that once we are saved, no matter what lives we lead we are still under God’s protective umbrella of salvation.  John isn’t addressing the issue from that perspective.  He simply tells us God’s commandments are not burdensome and if we have God’s love, we’ll keep His commands.  End of story. Thursday  - This this is the victory that overcomes the world. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5). Remember! It is still true.  “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, KJV).  We are more than conquerors because the battle is fought and won by the One who is all powerful and absolutely and infinitely wise, pure, and holy. Jesus said, “‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33). The key to this kind of victory is to be “born of God” to let God rebirth us and work in us and allow Him to rule our lives.  God is just waiting for us to come to the place where we let Him take over.  He wants to give us victory over sin.  He wants us to overcome the world.  And He is patiently awaiting our call. Believe Him, trust Him, let Him live in you and you also can claim the victory that has overcome the world! Friday/Weekend - We can KNOW that we have eternal life. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:12-13, KJV). This text above all others is one we need to cling to when Satan tempts us to doubt our salvation.  We don’t have to wonder if we have eternal life.  “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” No wondering about it, no moping around hoping we have eternal life.  Praise the Lord!  When we believe on the name of the Son of God, we “know” that we have eternal life.  You see when Jesus our advocate, our friend in court, takes our case, we are assured the case will be settled in our favor.   “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).  And even better news!  He paid the price for our sins (1 John 2:2).  We can’t lose!  We can KNOW that we have eternal life.  Praise the Lord!
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Press <Control>+D to bookmark this page 2010-2012 Marvin Glass, Inc. And now back to more great Southern Gospel Music!