1 John 3:11-18
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 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. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Pastor Chris expressed the importance of relationships in our daily walk as Christians. They can be complicated, confusing and difficult to navigate at times. Relationships imprint your life for good or evil, and how we treat each other affects our lives. In reality, you will know what a person believes by how they treat people. Pastor Chris described the difference between natural and supernatural love, and the importance of abiding in Christ in order to supernaturally love others as Christ loves us.
3 ways Paul says we treat people:
1. With hatred (1 John 3:11-15) — As Christians, we can can act like hatred is far from us while we have buried hatred in our hearts. Don’t be like Cain in Genesis 4, marked by a natural relationship with his brother Abel that led to destruction.
2. With indifference (1 John 3:16-17) — When we’re indifferent, we become self-seeking and lack generosity in our words, affections, and money. We becomes takers and not givers.
3. With supernatural love (1 John 3:18) — This love that comes from the Lord is a supernatural overflow. It is not just in word and talk, but love that is filled with truth.
What next? 3 things to do moving forward:
- Choose to honor people.
- Meet with the Holy Spirit.
- Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13.
- What is the difference between supernatural and natural love?
- Why does Jesus tell us to expect others to hate us? How are we to respond?
- Why did God choose to receive Abel’s sacrifice instead of Cain’s in Genesis 4?
- What place does forgiveness play in supernatural relationships?
- Examine your heart. What is your heart response in regard to tithing and giving the Lord the first fruits? Is your response from a natural or supernatural place?
- Can you think of a time you were hated for supernaturally loving someone? Share your experience and how you responded.
- Are you struggling with hatred or indifference relationally? Be specific and name it. How can you practically make a shift to replace that with supernatural love?