11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever 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.
1 JOHN 3:11-15 ESV
From yesterday’s reading, we learned that being reborn by God would bring out changes in our lives. One of the changes is our association with sin. Because God hates sin, and as His children, we also acquire that nature from Him to have an aversion to sin. Our righteous acts are one of the signs of being reborn and receiving the new life as children of God.
Righteousness is one important trait we inherited from God. But being God’s children is not only about not sinning and doing what is right. So John reminded us of a message we had heard from the beginning, that is to love one another. Another sign of being born again is our love for the people. Because God is love, this beautiful trait of His would pass on to us. What John emphasized in today’s passage is our love for our brothers (and sisters) in God’s family. If we are truly born again, our love for our brothers and sisters is evident in our lives.
God, the Father, loves us. And just like all fathers, He wants His children to love one another. Nothing hurts a father more than seeing his children hating and doing things to hurt each other. Cain murdered his brother. That was the first family tragedy recorded in the Bible. Imagine how heartbroken it would have been for Adam and Eve – having one son die of being killed and the other called the murderer.
Cain took his brother’s life because of his evil heart and jealousy. But Jesus, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), sacrificed His life for the world because of His pure heart and great love. God, the Father, gave up the life of His only begotten Son, so we may have eternal life and walk in love. We are all called the children of God and brought to His family through the sacrifice of Jesus. Before He calls us to love, He first loved us.
If anything hinders you from loving today, may God open your eyes and see what great love the Father has lavished on us! It is unreserved and unconditional. May He also open your eyes and see the beauty of His family. A family that He is willing to give up His glory and life for, and a family where He chose to be His resting place (Psalm 132:13-14). May His love be our strength to love.
We love because He first loved us.