Today we are praying for the country of Hungary. 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 devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Hungary by joining in prayer with the video below.
Today's Devotional Thought
As we begin to consider 1 John 5:1-12, we might notice that verse one of this chapter summarizes the 3 main themes of this text very clearly. John narrows it down to believing, being born of God, and love. Look in verse 1: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” Notice the three key words: believes, born of God, and loves. John will spend the next 11 verses expanding on each of these terms, starting with love and moving back towards believes. Let’s consider these terms together with John.
First, we see love. Notice what John says in 1 John 5:2-3: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” John, gave quite a discourse on love in the latter portion of chapter 3 and chapter 4. Now he continues that theme by reminding his readers that love is exercised both horizontally and vertically. We see the horizontal nature of love in verse 2: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.” John has been saying over and over again that we know we love God because we love our brethren. Now he is saying we know that we love our brethren because we love God! This feels like some sort of circular reasoning. Why does he do this? We know that we are God’s children because we overflow with love for Him and for others, specifically the brethren. That is clear. But, we know that we are rightly loving the brethren when we love God. Since God defines love, if we are to rightly love others, we must begin with God, who He is, and what He expects. Simply put, you can’t just “do good” for people according to your terms and call that love. You can’t define love how you want to define love…demonstrate love how you decide to demonstrate love and get affirmation from God that you are biblically, and truly, loving your neighbor. You can’t separate love in action from love in truth (the gospel). John wrote in 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” We love by taking action accompanied with the truth of the Gospel. Matthew 25 without the gospel is not biblical love! We can give food, water, and clothes to the needy. We can visit them in prison and when they are sick. But, if we do all of these things without communicating to them the majesty, worth, and fear of God, we have not biblically loved them. It would be like me having the cure for cancer, and going to cancer patients and giving them pain medicine, chemotherapy, and radiation while neglecting to give them the cure! We know that we are loving the children of God when we love in deed and in truth…when we love God. We will see more of vertical love and the importance of being born of God tomorrow. Until then...
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