FIRSTFRUITS – OUR BEST
Read: 1 John 3:14-21
” 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God” (NIV 1 John 3:14-21)
Study: We find that the fruit the Spirit bears in our lives is all connected, that each area in which we grow helps us grow in other areas. John outlined the ways that receiving God’s love in turn shows itself more and more in our ability to love others. Then, he said, this love becomes a source of peace, a way we can quiet our fears “when our hearts condemn us.” Echoing the kind of life Jesus lived, John challenged his readers to fully live into the kind of life God offers: “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” When have you experienced love that went beyond words into actions? In what ways do your unique temperament and gifts equip you to actively show love?
Prayer: God, when I feel unequipped to do your will, I know you have given me gifts to serve you. Let me live into those gifts. Amen.