“The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love.” - II John, verses 1-3
The truth that God in His mercy and love became a man so that He could die on the cross and be our Savior means that His grace, mercy and peace will always be with us.
The Apostle John goes on to explain that the result of God’s grace, mercy and peace in our hearts is a new relationship between people: we love each other!
It’s not that there isn’t love among people who don’t know Jesus. Families love each other. Parents love their children and children love their parents. Men love their country enough to die for it. I have been amazed by the love I have seen between people everywhere I go, and I’ve been to a lot of strange places in this world.
But where God is not known the love among people so often gets twisted into tragic forms. Sin in our hearts twists love into painful expressions of selfishness and abuse. I’ve seen this everywhere, too.
The Lord Jesus told us that there are two great commandments: love God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. All the rest of the commandments are simply explanations of what God means by “love.”
So here, John says, “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments.” (II John verse 6)
When the Truth of Jesus takes up residence in our hearts, true love, as God defines it, begins and grows.
Lord Jesus, by Your presence in my heart, changes the way that I love. Cleanse my heart of the self-centered nature that twists love into something hurtful. Work in my heart Your kind of love for my family and for those around me, so that I love them the way You would have me do. Thank You for Your grace, mercy and peace that have taken up residence in my heart. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles