Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).
Why would hating someone make you be a murderer? Because your tongue would assassinate him, and you would whip him with your words until his reputation died. Those you hate, you don’t leave alone. You grind them into the ground like a body, dead, and buried. Your eternal life rides right along and is buried with the body.
The only reason for living this life on earth is to take advantage of the opportunity to be born again, which delivers you to your eternal life with God. That eternal life is filled with love, and it begins at the moment of your new birth. If you are busy hating somebody, that means you are not busy loving Jesus and loving people for Him. It also means that the eternal life which Jesus gave you is not alive in you. Love is what has died.
You can’t afford to hate. The person may well deserve your hatred, but if you hate him, you will deserve the punishment of love deserting you. Nurture your eternal life by living in eternal love, no matter what the cost.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death (1 John 3:14).
The Biblical implication of the word death means “to be separated from God.” Love is light and life. Death is darkness and separation from life, especially the life of God. Like any parent, God wants a big, happy family. That can only happen if we love each other. When we give up our petty differences, when we stop comparing our blessings with another brother or sister’s blessings, when we give up our envying, wanting our way, or demanding to be first, we pass from death to life.
Life, love, and light appreciate another person’s blessings. We love each other when we stop playing the “right/wrong” game (“I’m right; you’re wrong!”) Love gives. Love relinquishes the right of way (“You go first!” “Let’s do it your way.”) Love apologizes. The face of God shines on those who love.
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you (1 John 3:13).
I don’t know anybody who enjoys being persecuted, much less being hated. Perhaps you don’t do this, but I try to avoid such people. If I know someone hates me, I go way out of my way to keep my path from crossing theirs. I don’t want any negativity in my life, but when I find such venom directed at me, I do marvel at it. I mean, I’m so nice, just like you are! How can anybody hate me? Or you? But there are some who seem to find it very easy to hate us. One of our American pundits once said, “You can get most of the people to like you some of the time and some of the people to like you most of the time, but you can never get all of the people to like you all of the time.”
Instead of standing back marveling at people who hate us, we should busy ourselves with loving them. In the States, we had a vicious radio personality called The Bible Answer Man, and he hated my Bible school teacher, my mentor. For months the entire United States heard this man’s venom against my teacher, which attacked his teaching about the Holy Spirit and healing. Then my mentor sent The Bible Answer Man a large donation and encouraged him to keep up his good work on the radio. Never again did that public personality ridicule or demean the fabulous leader who taught the world to know the Holy Spirit and to receive healing.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you (Proverbs 25:21, 22).
Not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous (1 John 3:12).
What works were so evil that Cain would kill his brother? It was a matter of their offerings. Cain, the older one, brought the first fruits from his fields as an offering to God, while Abel, the younger brother, brought a first born lamb as his offering. God preferred the lamb. So what’s the big deal? Wheat should be a good offering, or corn, of even zucchini. However, God had cursed the ground because Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He set the example of a good offering by killing the first animals and making clothing for the first couple from the animal skins.
Like Jesus said, He only did what He saw the Father doing, and He only said what He heard the Father saying. Taking our lives into our own hands and determining our own path is like spitting in God’s face. He chose how the world would turn. He chose how we would honor Him. In those days it was a lamb that brought honor to God because that was a symbol of the coming Lord Jesus. He was to be our sacrificial lamb. To miss the clues of God is to miss His leadership, which is always kind, beneficial, and providential for us. What makes a good offering today? Simply said: time and money. An offering of time is a session of praise.
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:15).
We give the sacrifice of praise, giving thanks, and we are the ones who are blessed. God blesses our approved offerings, but our blessings can make our friends and neighbors, and even family, jealous, sometimes even to the point of murder. Jealousy is of the wicked one, but their jealousy shouldn’t stop us.
An offering of money is above the tithe, which makes it more precious because it’s more difficult to give, yet it renders the greatest rewards.
"Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8).
Give to God as He requires, the tithe of ten percent and an escalating percentage above that for the offering. We won’t be making His life better; we’ll be making our lives better.
For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another (1 John 3:11).
The Israelites had so many laws to follow because they had no spiritual connection with God. Their spirits were dead. When Adam sinned he died spiritually, which eventually led to dying physically, but the most terrible thing that happened to Adam was that he was no longer directly connected to heaven. He had to wait for God to come down to walk and talk with him because he no longer had a spirit into which God could speak. We do. Jesus gives us a new spirit at our new birth, and we have an instant connection to God Himself!
Therefore, we don’t need all those laws, and now we only have two to follow—both of them concern love. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength. That’s one. That’s easy in comparison to the second. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That’s hard.
First, of course, is that we have to love ourselves. Amazingly, self-hate is a prominent state in our society. But after we overcome that hurdle, we have to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Our neighbors aren’t always easy to love. God is a most lovable Daddy. Our neighbors quite often don’t want to love us back, so loving them can become a trial.
However, when we practice loving them at all times and in all circumstances, like we would do with our children, it’s amazing how love can change all things.