Love One Another
I offer your regular reminder to check out the wise words at Proverbial Thought.
Today I am delving more into the real message Valentine taught.
Whose Child Are You?
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:7-10, NIV
This is not a debate over whether someone is righteous apart from Christ (the short answer is no).
This time we are discussing how our actions present us to others.
Precisely, do our actions prove we are children of God or of the devil?
Whose Child Are You?
Based on this passage, it would appear that it becomes easier (not necessarily easy) to tell who is a follower of Jesus and who follows … anything else! John was speaking to Christians in this passage, so this is not about what those outside of the Church are doing. This is only about the Christian.
If we claim to be a Christian and continue willingly to commit sins with no remorse, we are still living as children of Satan. Our adoption as Sons of God through Christ Jesus is in question.
The biggest tell, however, is whether we show love to others.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48, NIV
There is a popular message being preached from prominent leaders in the Western churches, usually preached by their actions: if people disrespect us, infringe on our rights, or attack us based on our beliefs, we have the right and obligation to fight back in many, if not all, of the same ways.
This is not the love of Christ.
Our Lord loved those who infringed on His rights, mocked and disrespected Him, and attacked Him to the point of killing Him.
To do otherwise is proof of our relationship with the devil, Satan.
Love One Another
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
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. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 John 3:11-20, NIV
Whose child are you?
Do you love people regardless (it does not mean you have to really like them or trust them)?
Prove you are a child of God. Live it out as St. Valentine tried to every day until he was beheaded.
Love others. No matter what they say or do.