“NEXT” January 25
Day 19 “Return in the ‘Next’”
What if the “Next” thing is a return to the first thing?
In 1 John 2:7-11, John says that the command he is writing to the church is not new but an old commandment that they know. He is referring to the command to love one another. John goes on to say “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another… And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (1 John 3:11; 23 ESV)
Jesus had instilled in John and the earliest disciples that loving one another was essential to the life of a Christian. When Jesus was asked what the greatest command was, He famously responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 ESV) Jesus tied the call to love one another with the call to love the Lord with everything we have. The implications here are huge as followers of Christ! Jesus is saying above all else, Love God and Love those around you. A sentiment the Apostle Paul reiterated in 1 Corinthians 13 as he says if we do anything and do not have love, we are nothing; love should never end.
Spend some time with the Father and in his word. Read through 1 John, pray through it, it’s only five short chapters, and pay attention and reflect on a few points. 1) the seriousness of sin and call to turn from it, 2) the mercy of God in our sinfulness, 3) the call to love (God and neighbor), 4) God’s great love for us, 5) Jesus is the only means of our forgiveness (propitiation).
Rejoice in these things and in this season of “Next,” return to your first love (Revelation 2:4-5). In this season earnestly pray and seek to love the Lord and love one another with faithful, unfailing, never ending, sacrificial love, just as Jesus loves us.
Pastor Jeremy McKinney