Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 4-20-21

2 John 1-6 Walk According to His Commandments
1 The elder [John—of the church addresses this letter] to the elect (chosen) lady and her children [spiritual family], whom I love in truth—and not only I, but also all who know and understand the truth— 2 because of the truth which lives in our hearts and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace (inner calm, a sense of spiritual well-being) will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

4 I was greatly delighted to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5 Now I ask you, lady, not as if I were writing to you a new commandment, but [simply reminding you of] the one which we have had from the beginning, that we [believers] love and unselfishly seek the best for one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in accordance with His commandments and are guided continually by His precepts. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should [always] walk in love.

Conditional love—which reflects terms on the giving of love—never stands the test of time in a fallen world. An example of conditional love would be one person or group (A) requiring or demanding another person or group (B) to live with the purpose of keeping (A) happy. Conditional love is all about pleasing flesh and feelings. Therefore, there is no room for correction of (A) because it brings offense and hurt feelings. Conditional love [an antichrist counterfeit] is about manipulation and control and in time will destroy relationships; it is like building a relational house on sand knowing storms are coming. Conditional love between believers is not and has never been biblical.

As believers, the love we are to share is actually called ‘agape’ which is a sacrificial love. This love is not earned and is given freely because Christ has given every believer his sacrificial love (1 John 3:16). Love flows from our holy Source—agape has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit—rather than the worldly bottomless pit of our feelings (Romans 5:5). Agape is an act of the will for the purpose of healing others—having a high regard for their overall welfare. In fact, Jesus teaches [all his disciples] that loving our enemies is acting as children of the Most High (Luke 6:32-36). In Christ, we are to speak the Truth in agape because we desire the welfare of others even above our own. We share agape knowing it may produce positive or negative consequences for us. Agape is not sappy or prone to feelings; it’s the compassionate move of God to heal and redirect a sinful and selfish world that needs to know the Truth of The Creator in order to live by His precepts/commands. This certainly gives us something “unsappy” to think about, today, doesn’t it?

Prayer: Father, thank you for your agape love for me; I don’t deserve it and yet am so grateful for the love you gave for my well-being. Help me to spill forth into the lives of others that agape which you have poured into me, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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