Of Light and Darkness, Love and Hate

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 12; Proverbs 2:16-22; 1 John 2:7-17

"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." - 1 John 2:9-11 ESV

What is love? What is hate? Love is an emotion but it’s also an action. Love is wanting GOOD for someone while HATE wants harm for them.

Reading Psalm 12 and Proverbs 2 along with this passage, I thought of how much lying and adultery are really signs of hate … while honesty and integrity are marks of love. One might say that they love someone while their lips are speaking lies. One might say that they love someone while leading someone astray. But true love desires for the other person’s health, holiness, and well-being.

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world." - 1 John 2:15-16 ESV

At its very essence, the love of the world and the things of the world boil down to love of self, love of comfort, safety, and pleasure. My love of the world is nothing like God’s John 3:16 love – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” My love of the world looks a lot more like loving my own pleasure. The truth is that I love me some ME.

And when my eyes are full of loving me, there’s no room left to love my Heavenly Father or my neighbor. To truly love my Heavenly Father, I have to put His glory and His commands over my own fleeting pleasures. To truly love my neighbor, I have to put their well-being over my own, and that takes Holy Spirit power and strength! I can never do that in my own flesh.

Won’t you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

We want Your glory and majesty to fill the earth. Make us Your vessels. We want to walk in the light as You are in the light. We want to love our neighbor as ourselves. We want to love others as Christ loved us.

But, Father, we can’t do it on our own.

Please forgive us for how far and how often we have gone astray. We have loved the world and the things in the world, instead of loving You and loving our neighbor. We have loved ourselves and hated our brothers.

We repent of our sins. We turn to You, knowing that You are our only hope in life and death. Thank You for the forgiveness and grace available to us through the blood of Christ. Thank You for Your power and guidance available to us through the Holy Spirit.

We need You every hour. We cry out to You and ask for Your help and we know that You hear us.

Thank You! Thank you! Thank you! By the perfect righteousness of Christ we come to You.

Amen

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