Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 30, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 John 3:19-24 (NKJV)
3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
Today’s meditation calls us to focus on Jesus Christ, and only Jesus Christ, in all things. John explains that the command of God is that we believe in the name of Jesus Christ, and thus love one another. This echoes the words our Lord spoke to the lawyer in Matthew 22:34-40 who asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment. John, like Jesus, answers this question by pointing to faith. Faith that turns to and clings to Jesus Christ before and above all else produces fruits of faith that manifest themselves in love which serves the neighbor.
This total dependence on God and His faithfulness to His promise of grace invariably produces love for the neighbor, especially toward those of the house of God, for no one ever hates his own flesh—and we Christians are all of one body: the body of Christ (the Church). You cannot hate another Christian without ending up also hating Christ who dwells in all Christians by the power of the Holy Spirit. John is telling us that trusting fully in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer leads to loving our neighbor as Christ loved us, as naturally as standing in the rain leads to being wet.
We pray: Dear Lord, strengthen our faith in You through Your holy Means of Grace, that we might become more fully Your true disciples, always reflecting Your holy light in this darkened world. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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