Mar. 29 - People of Presence, Part 4
In this series we have been exploring how to become People of Presence by walking through the book of 1 John. The past three sermons have showed us how to live in fellowship with one another, how to examine our relationship with Christ to develop a better self-awareness, and how to know what God’s expectations are for us as His children. This week, we dug into this passage:
1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
There are many issues that people have decided are important indicators to determine how “Christian” a person is. What’s your view on abortion? Homosexuality? Women preachers? Politics? Sometimes people get so wrapped up in these issues and use them as litmus tests to determine if someone truly loves Christ. But the bible tells us differently. God commands us to love our fellow believers as we love Him. This passage tells us those who claim to love God yet hate a brother or sister are liars.
If you love God, that’s wonderful! But if we don’t also love our brothers and sisters, we don’t love God in the way we claim to. Scripture tells us we can’t have one posture towards God, but a different relationship with other believers. Do you treat your relationships with others as transactional relationships? Do you involve yourself with others simply to meet needs of your own? If you remove that transaction and there’s no relationship left there, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
True believers treat others in the way they treat God. Our Father desires for us to be present for those He puts in our path. We need to take a posture of service, love, and affection for God and act the same towards all the people He brings into our paths. That’s how we can know we are people of presence.