NT Fire Starters – Day 334: 1 John 3:11-24
READ: 1 John 3:11-24
THINK: Jesus gave His life for you. Would you be willing to do the same for Him? Perhaps that thought raises anxiety in your heart and mind, but you don’t have to fear. If that prospect ever arose, God would provide the strength to endure. Yet there is something God asks of you that may at times be tougher than dying for Him; that is, living for Him. In reality, God has already asked you to lay down your life for His sake (3:16). But He’s not simply referring to a physical sacrifice of your life. Rather, God expects you to willingly put aside your own rights, interests and concerns for the benefit of others, particularly to demonstrate Jesus’ love and bring them closer to Him.
RESPOND: How will people whose actions are evil typically respond to and treat those whose actions are righteous (vv. 12-13)? Why should the worlds hatred toward Christians not surprise you? In what way is anyone “who hates his brother” a murderer? (See 3:15 note.) Is there a difference between certain kinds of sins and their consequences, and if so, how? (See 3:15 note.) In what way can certain sins indicate that a person is still enslaved to their own God-defying way or that they have abandoned a relationship with God? Why must Christians take all sin seriously? (See 3:15, sub point 2.) How do we know what true love is (v. 16)? How are we to respond to Jesus’ example of love? (See 3:16 note.) In practical terms, what does it mean “to lay down our lives for our brothers” (v. 16)? How, when and why are we to demonstrate true Christlike love in tangible ways? (See 3:17 note.) According to verse 18, how do we prove and demonstrate true love? (See 3:18 note.) What is one of the vital keys to an effective prayer life? (See 3:22 note.) What is God’s primary command (v. 23)? (See 1 John 4:7 note and John 13:34 note.) How can we know that God lives in us (v. 24)? (See article on Regeneration: Spiritual Birth and Renewal, p. 1454.)
PRAY: Ask God to give you compassion for those who oppose, reject or mistreat you because of your devotion to Christ. Pray that you will take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’ love in practical ways.
ACT: Look for practical needs in the lives and situations of people you know and come in contact with. If God has given you the ability or opportunity to meet any of these needs, do so as a way of demonstrating Jesus’ sacrificial love.