2 John Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Gary Chang, Gracepoint Hsinchu

2 John 6

What is the relationship between “command,” “obedience” and “love”?  This verse tells us that to love is to obey God’s commands.  From yesterday’s DT, to love God is to obey God’s commands, because love is action-oriented and when you love someone you desire to please that person.  But what about to love one another?  Verse 6 reminds me that it is also to obey God’s commands, because Jesus’ command to anybody who would follow him is that they would love each other.  In John 13:34-35, Jesus tells his disciples during the last supper: “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Elsewhere when a Pharisee asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment that we should obey, Jesus summarized the entire OT laws into essentially one word: Love.  (To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; and to also love your neighbors as yourself.)  This command to love our neighbors as ourselves harkens back to Leviticus 19:18.  Basically, Jesus says that the greatest OT commands from God is to love God and to love my neighbors as myself.  And for the NT era that he is ushering into existence, Jesus gives his disciples the “new command” to love one another.  So when I strive to love God and to love my neighbors, I end up obeying God’s command since the beginning.

As love is a command and a matter of obedience, it is therefore an order from God that I live it out.  To love people in my life becomes not just an option but a matter of responsibility for me.  To put it more bluntly, to love my fellow men is not just something I ought to do as a Christian to be a good witness, but it is part of my duty as a Christian.  The brothers and sisters on this team are not just co-laborers and fellow staff, they are people whom I am commanded to love personally.  The students whom I am reaching out to are people whom I am to genuinely love.  When I think about them, or for that matter really anyone in my life, I need to go deeper and think about the question: “What is the loving thing I can do/should do for this person?”

And part of the implication of love being a matter of obedience to God’s commands is that as I obey God’s Word in my life, am I mere doing it out of a sense of duty?  For my personal well-being?  Or ultimately connecting it back to God in love?  Taking it for example the issue of confession of sins, though it is really applicable to other things like ministry as well.  The Bible at various places (i.e. 1 John 1:8-9; James 5:16) instructs that believers should confess their sins to God and to each other.  As I strive to obey this in my life, I can say that the reason is out of my love for God and because of His holiness.   On my own I would not want to confess sins, how embarrassing!  To do this because of duty would make the obedience of this command a burdensome drudgery.  To confess sins for my personal well-being can only be a partial reason, because if that were the main reason then I would just as quickly start to compromise what to confess and to what extent.  So why do I strive to be honest before God about confessing my sins?  It is ultimately out of the conviction that He is a holy God but also a gracious God who has shown me much grace.  Out of His love and generosity He has given me much blessings.  Because He loves me He has treated me much more than I deserve, and because I love Him I desire to have clear conscience before Him, so that I can remain in fellowship with Him in the light, rather than to have barrier in our relationships.  And because of these reasons, I strive to take seriously His command that I am to confess my sins.

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2 Responses to “2 John Devotion Sharing”

  1. uly says:

    hi I just read your sharing and went back to read 2John 1-6. It seems that we need to love others as is commanded by God.

    Normally, I would love others no matter who he/she is. However, sometimes when we have a fight/an arguement with a friend, the friend might be indifferent to us no matter what we have done to compensate for him/her. In such a case, even if we want to go on to love our friend, it might be impossible. The friend will turn down our love. As time goes by, we might treat that friend with indifference too. By doing so, are we disobeying God’s command–loving one another?

  2. williamkang says:

    I think the loving thing to do is to do whatever we can to reconcile the friendship.

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