Day 5 Read: 1 John 3:16-18
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Reflect: What, according to these verses, are the components of true love?
Consider: The change from the plural in v. 16 (“brothers”) to the singular here (ton adelphon) is deliberate and significant in that it makes the duty of helping a fellow member of the Christian community more individualized in its application. As Lewis observes: “It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital ‘H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.”5
Respond: Why is true love sacrificial in nature? What kinds of things does love require us to sacrifice? Why is true love always demonstrated and not just verbalized? If we only verbalize love, what does that mean about the manner in which we love?
5 Daniel L. Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, vol. 38, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 160.