We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. (1 John 3:14 ESV)
So, if we can stir up/agitate anger and hate in and toward one another this reveals two things to me. Either I’m abiding in death (unsaved) or the sin that remains in my body needs to be put to death quickly and consistently (saved and being sanctified), so that I can love my brothers, the easy ones and the difficult ones. All things… God works through all things for our good (Rom 8:28)… various kinds of trials (Ja 1:2).
I was faced with my sinfulness this week as I quickly turned from loving to hating my brother, from laying my life down for my brother to trying to lay out my brother with impatient angry words.
As God brings me to His word in 1 John 3 in some quiet moments here, I am humbled by His love and grace and the mercy He grants me each day… tender mercies… lovingkindness. Great is Your faithfulness, dear LORD.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (Titus 3:4-11 ESV)
Not what my hands have done, but His…