The Apostle John is someone in scripture that experience a significant perspective change. Originally, John and his brother were known as the “Sons of Thunder”, so that tells us a little bit about their personality before meeting Jesus.
However, as we study 1 John 2:7-12 today you will notice that John is all about love after following Jesus. Have you ever heard the phrase, “God is love?” John is the one that wrote that phrase. For John, if your method to care for others or change lives is anything but Love you will miss the target.
1 John 2:7–12
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. 12 I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
As we study closer we see how John views hatred. He defines it as being 3 things.
· Disinterested in others
· Judgmental – artificial lines with people
· Against others
We cannot activate Love in our lives when we are engaged in these things
However, through Jesus we can…
· Become interested in people
· Remove artificial lines and judgment
· Be for others
Through Jesus you can do this because - You are loved to love.
We activate love by
· Meeting a Need
· Who is the most loving person you know? Why do you think so?
· What qualities do you associate with love?
· Read 1 John 2:7-15, what did John say he was giving to his readers? (1 John 2:7-8)
· How are claiming to be a Christian and loving one’s fellow Christians related? (1 John 2:9-11)
· How would you define hatred towards another person? What characterizes hatred in your eyes?
· If someone is experiencing hatred towards another, how might they grow out of hatred or what might help them be more loving?
· Michael challenged us to activate love by listening, learning, and meeting a need. For you, which is the more challenging?
· What would it look like to grow in activating love in your relationships?
· What specifically can you do this week to activate love in your life?
· How can we pray for you?