Today we are praying for the country of Russia. 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.
Please take time to meditate on the sermon or devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Russia by joining in prayer with the video below.
Watch the above video and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
1 John 3:10-24
A major theme of John’s letter is love. He begins to unfold for us the importance of love in this text today. It reads:
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
We will see four major things in these 15 verses concerning love. Let us consider them together.
I. The Contrast v10-15
What we see from these verses is a very clear contrast. Verse 10 makes clear, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” The children of God and the children of the devil are made obvious by what they practice and by their love. The contrast is clear. The world hates. The believer loves. John makes this contrast very clear in our text. As believers, we are to be characterized by love. He writes in verse 11, “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” This is not new information. From the very beginning of the coming of the Kingdom of God and Christ, followers of Christ…citizens of the Kingdom of God…are commanded to love. Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” By this is is obvious who belongs to God and who belongs to the world; love.
In contrast, the world does not love. We see this exemplified in the person of Cain. John writes in verses 12-15, “not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Cain was the first murderer; and what motivated his crime? The fact that his brother was righteous! He hated his brother because his deeds were righteous, and that hatred expressed itself in murder. There was a thin line between murder and hatred in Genesis 4, and Jesus affirmed that truth in Matthew 5:21-22 when he said, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
Take time to read Genesis 4:2-12.
As sure as worldly Cain hated righteous Abel because of his righteousness, the world will hate the believer today. That hatred will often result in violent opposition, and sometimes murder. Jesus warned that we would be on the receiving end of the word’s hatred in John 15:18-20: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” The children of the devil hate. The children of God love. The children of the devil persecute and murder. The children of God suffer for righteousness’ sake. It is just another contrast between the children of the devil and the children of God.
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