Today we are praying for the country of Yemen in North Africa. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers. If you want to pray for more nations in North Africa and the Middle East you can click HERE and explore the different nations and peoples that makes up the region.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Watch the video below and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
Concluding Devotion on 1 John 2:7-11
We looked yesterday at the one who hates. Today, we will see the one who is fulfilling the new commandment: the one who loves.
II. The one who loves
The new commandment that comes out of those who have been redeemed is simply love. Jesus made it clear that love is the primary thing in Mark 12:28-31. We read, “One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31 The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Love is the fresh, new commandment that is produced by the old commandment (the gospel). Love fulfills the entire law of God! We read in Romans 13:8-10, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
John writes in verse 10, “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” What does it mean to love? We need to continue to be careful that we do not allow our culture, our common sense, or our opinions to define biblical words for us. How does the Bible define love? Paul gives us a clear definition of what love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He writes, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Notice that the words Paul uses to describe love are rooted in action and not only feeling. Love is something we do. It is not solely how we feel about another, but also how we act towards another. We can love, even when we don’t feel loving by being patient, kind, etc.
Notice, that in contrast to the one who hates his brother and dwells in darkness, the one who loves his brother abides in, or dwells in the Light. This Light that John is referring to, is the same Light we were introduced to in 1 John 1:5-10. If you recall, the Light communicates His holiness. He illuminates the darkness, especially the darkness of our hearts. He penetrates our hearts in order to bring us to confession and bring us into the Light. And then in chapter 2:1-6 we see what it looks like to walk in that Light. If you missed those devotions or sermons you can find them at www.missionsurge.com/blog.
Because the one who loves walks in the light, he does not stumble. This word “cause for stumbling” in the Greek literally means “a stick for bait, a snare, or a stumbling block.” It often refers to“the movable stick or trigger of a trap.” It points us to the idea of a trap, snare, or any impediment placed in the way that would cause one to stumble or fall. Do you see what John is saying? If we get the Old Commandment so “in us” that the new commandment comes “out of us” we will not take the devil’s bait!
What John is saying is that we need to get the old commandment (the gospel) IN us. And once the old is IN us, the new will come OUT of us. And if the new is coming out of us, a biblical love for God and biblical love for our neighbors, we will not stumble! We will be walking in the Light, and if we walk in the Light as He is in the light, we will have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son will cleanse us from all our sin!
1. Meditate on Mark 12:28-31. Why do you believe Jesus said that these were the 2 greatest commandments? How does our experience with the gospel (the old commandment) affect our obedience to these commands in Mark 12?
2. Consider Paul’s words in Romans 13:8-10. What do you think Paul meant by owe no man anything but love? How does this love fulfill the law?
3. Take some time to meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Replace the word “love” each time it is used with your name. Would the new version of this text be true with your name substituted for love? What about in reference to your wife or husband? What about in relation to your children? What about in relation to your spiritual brothers and sisters? What about in relation to the lost, the unreached, and the least of these?
4. How does walking in love and in the Light keep us from taking, and stumbling over, Satan’s bait?