Devotions for April 2, 2014

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1 John 3:11-24

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS

Q: Is your love and service conditional? Do you only serve in ways that you are recognized for your work? Or in areas that you are comfortable serving? Do you only help after your needs are met? Do you feel like you have nothing to give unless you have been taken care of first?

Q: Do you see your love and service as a privilege and an honor? Do you recognize all God has done for you and in response to that, have a desire to serve? Does your desire to serve come from a place of gratitude and glory to God?

Q: How does your relationship with God directly affect your desire to serve and love others? These verses tell us that “a person who has no love is still dead.” What does that mean if you have been treating your love and service as something that is based on certain conditions?

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