Topic: Living in the Light [December 14, 2016]
Read: 1 John 2:3–11, Bible in a Year: Joel 1–3; Revelation 5
The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 1 John 2:8
It was a dark morning. Low, steel-colored clouds filled the sky, and the atmosphere was so dim that I needed to turn on the lights in order to read a book. I had just settled in when the room suddenly filled with light. I looked up and saw that the wind was pushing the clouds to the east, clearing the sky and revealing the sun.
As I went to the window to get a better look at the drama, a thought came to mind: “The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). The apostle John wrote these words to believers as a message of encouragement. He went on to say, “Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble” (v. 10). By contrast, he equated hating people with roaming around in darkness. Hatred is disorienting; it takes away our sense of moral direction.
Loving people is not always easy. Yet I was reminded as I looked out the window that frustration, forgiveness, and faithfulness are all part of maintaining a deep connection with the love and light of God. When we choose love instead of hate, we are showing our relationship with Him and reflecting His radiance to the world around us. “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Prayer: Dear God, help me to experience Your love more fully so that I can share it with others. I want to live in the light of Your grace and mercy.
Choosing to love people well shows the world what God is like.
Today’s passage has perplexed many believers. Is John teaching that if we have any hatred in our hearts, then we are not genuine believers? It is very important to understand a concept in Greek grammar in order to capture what the passage is saying. The verb tense used here means “continuous action in the present.” This means the verb could be paraphrased “continually hating.” Therefore, when John speaks of someone hating, he is talking about an unrepentant lifestyle of continuously living in hatred toward another. The authentic walk of faith is not a sinless walk, but one in which the believer feels uncomfortable with sin and reaches out to God for forgiveness and change.
This message was written by Jennifer Benson Schuldt [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]