I John 4:20-21; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

How can we love God, yet hate that which God loves? When you truly love someone whole heartedly, you begin to become passionate for the things that they are passionate about. Now this doesn’t mean that you must like the things that they like. There are lots of things that I like which my wife couldn’t care less about. But, the things that I am passionate over, she becomes concerned over, because she loves me.

The same goes with us and God. If we truly loved God, we want to see His heart fulfilled; we want to see Him with joy. How then can we despise the very things which will give His heart the greatest joy?

Brothers and sisters, I know there are many in this world against whom we fight. Here at SEA, we have taken a strong stand against Calvinism, to fight for the true doctrines of grace. Therefore, we do indeed fight against Calvinists. But our hearts shouldn’t hate them, or desire to see them destroyed. Our hearts should be filled with the Father’s compassion, and His desire to have His full heart for all of the world revealed to them.

Likewise, if we see someone supporting the opposite end of the political spectrum than us, we shouldn’t hate them, or doubt the authenticity of their Christian walk. Instead, we should love them, and pray that we both desire the higher things: the manifestation of God’s kingdom.

More personally, if there is a brother in the Lord who has offended you personally, do not desire retribution, but correction and repentance. Do not pursue revenge, but reconciliation, for that is what God did for us.

So I encourage you: if there is a sibling in the Lord in your life with whom you are angry, say a word of forgiveness for that person right now in prayer, and lay the fate of that person in God’s hands. Allow God to enact true justice, for He alone has perfect judgement and justice. Love your siblings in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t hold back. After all, nothing would stop Jesus from loving you.