“I have decided to stick with love…hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In honor of MLK day on January 16, 2017 I decided to use a quote from Dr. King to write this devotional. This is a devotional for a men’s prayer group that meets on Tuesday morning. There is so much truth in this quote. This quote speaks volumes about where our heart should be when it comes to how we treat each other.
1 John 4:7-13
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
Love comes from God. We are told in many places that we are to love one another. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor. Paul tells the church in Thessalonica that he should not have to write them because God himself tells us to love one another. If we know God and are born of God then we should love. We are told that if we truly love then we are born of God.
Likewise we are told that if you do not know God then you are not able to love. God is love and we must know Him in order to truly love. We cannot give away something that we do not have. If we do not have God in us then we cannot love, because we do not have love.
We also see that God loved us that He sent His son to die for us. He gave His only son as a sacrifice for our sins. This was done so that we might live through Jesus. God did not do this because we loved Him. He did this because He loves us that much. He did this even though we were still sinners.
We are told that God is love. He loves us. We are able to live through the sacrifice that was made through Jesus because of God’s love. Therefore we should love one another. It is a cause and effect. The cause is God loves us and the effect is that we love each other. If we love one another then God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.
1 John 2:9,11
9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
When you say that you have God then that means that you have love inside you. This love should be seen by everyone that you meet, but this cannot be so if you hate your brother. If you have hatred in your heart then you do not have room for God. God and hate cannot exist.
When you hate you have taken your eyes off of God. You are no longer focused on what God is doing around you. You are no longer walking in light. You are now walking in darkness without God.
Are you loving as God says?
- Love God then love your neighbor.
- Do not hate those that have difference of opinions then you do.
- Have love and compassion for the oppressed.
- Love everyone enough that you are willing to share God with them.