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Weekly Devotional from August 21, 2006

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Women in Discipleship (sm)
Weekly Devotionals 2006
Week 29
"Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."   1 John 3:15-16
This verse continues the litmus test of true brotherly love. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:46: "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" John tells us that hate is not an option for a true believer. Hate=murder and murder is not an abiding attribute for a believer to possess. Strong words for sure but very true.
The key to this passage is found in verse 16. "We know love by this, that He (Jesus) laid down His life for us."    We are told to do likewise toward all people.
Do you remember the story of Stephen when he was being stoned? (Acts 7:60) He asked for God to forgive those who were practicing hate toward him in the stoning. Foxes book of Martyrs gives testimony's regarding this test of love. We are to live in such a way that people will see our heart of love. This Agape love to them may seem impossible. It is apart from Christ. Thus is the point of our desire to demonstrate it.
It continues to come down to the "practice" of our lives. We desire to know truth. God's word is truth. Jesus lived for others. He had one purpose, to please His Father. In doing so He practiced the only love that could come out of Him, Agape love. He willingly laid down His life for all of us sinners, haters, murders, adulterers and evil doers. His willing surrender yielded redemption for all who would call on His name and in repentance and faith follow Him. Amazing love! J
How might you lay aside your life today to encourage, help, pray for or forgive someone who has been unloving toward you?
What challenge do you face regularly regarding love/hate toward someone else?
Jesus is our Perfect Love! He is the One to look toward in the difficulty of daily challenges towards others.
May we each demonstrate the Stephen kind of Love!
Sandra Davis for everyone at Women in Discipleship


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