This is a love letter to your city and especially to the people of your city.
Love is assuring
John writes that people who understand what God’s love is and practice it in the community are in common union in Denver, New York or London and Tokyo! When we are children of God we are addressed as so:
1 John 5 (New Living Translation)
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
“13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” Are you correctable? Am I?
Love is Challenging
Accountability is important. If we stay in denial we cannot really love the way God wants us to love. That is where the community of God comes in and we can be forgiven because when we confess- He listens, when we repent, He forgives us and when we are challenged and held accountable for our sins and actions He puts people in our path who pray and help us overcome in the community. This is a love that changes people, not by “religious conviction or guilt” but by the love of the community and the blood of Jesus Christ. Politics is getting what we want through manipulation and saying what people want to hear. We should have a separation of church and politics but not of State. When the Church and State challenge our communities there can be accountability. When a Church or the State tells people what they “want to hear” then we are all politicians and that is where the danger lies. Love is challenging.
Love is Life Changing
” 16 If you see a Christian brother or sister[d] sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.” It is amazing that the lobby groups will call things political when they are moral and spiritual (Susan Komen versus Planned Parenthood) is a good example. The refusal to call murder, murder, and sin, sin, trips us up. The deadly sins are perversions of God’s truth and plan and in our lives, we need a community to serve one another in truth and not political lies based on what an organization tells us, but instead how the community rooted in God’s Word, proclaims truth in love.
“18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.”
Do we realize that there is evil and an evil one? That is a good question. The destructive forces in our community are holding some hostage and using them, exploiting them and that is what damages community and destroys true love. When we are willing to compromise God’s plan for marriage, we are in danger as a community. That is one area that is being soft-pedaled in claiming that “this will strengthen the institution of marriage and family.” Are we being held hostage? If so, are we willing to be freed from our captor?
Friendship and Fellowship in Denver
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
We started out this love letter from the Apostle John with defining what love is. Love has to be tough sometimes. Love is returned by our corrective nature, by rising to the challenge, by changing and by being faithful. John ends his letter with 1 John 5: 21. It is a challenge to keep away anything that might take God’s place in our hearts. This could be media, gaming, substance abuse or even a “deadly sin.” Are we correctable? Are we willing to place God first in our homes, in our marriages, in our friendships? Are we willing to place God ahead in our work, in our travel, our presentations, and our ministries? Are we willing to put God first in our communities, gatherings, and our social life? Are we willing to lovingly correct when we have to and to challenge one another? Are we compelled to change our perspectives, our hearts and our very lives for God? That’s what this love letter asks of us. Are you ready to answer?