May 1, 2018
We have all heard the analogy of something being like the "layers of an onion". With each layer that is peeled back another layer appears. It is manifestly event that our own human nature is very much like that. Why do we get our feelings hurt? Why do we get so upset about some things? What caused us to react a certain way?
In this chapter, John gets down to the "nitty gritty" (the root of the problem). He peels back several layers of the onion really quick and hits the nail on the head. He says the reason Cain was angry with his brother and ultimately killed him had nothing to do with "sacrifices" at all. He did it because "his own works were evil". Cain did not consider that his opinions might be wrong. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it, how he wanted it. It was all about him.
The hardest thing I think there is to do is to look inside oneself. Clearly it is painful. If we had one of those "cartoon clouds" over our head that everyone could see that revealed what we were thinking would we be embarrassed? All of us I am sure would have to answer yes to that. The world does not understand why we worship and live the way we do. Their reaction is to criticize or buffet us in some manner. Why? Because it makes them look bad. We are not doing that on purpose. It is merely a natural process of allowing God to peel back the onion layers of our life and become a new creature. All things are new.
We become "living bibles" for all the world around us to read. We do righteous things, say righteous words and think righteous thoughts. None of us have even the slightest ability to be righteous. As we know, that is where the Holy Spirit comes in. Yielding to Him each day is a never ending process. We just have to keep on letting him peel back the layers of the onion. It is worth it because "when He (Jesus) shall appear we shall be like Him".
John declares the unique love of God toward us, in making us His children
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
and to live with each other in brotherly love
11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
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It is so humbling to think that the Almighty God takes the time (a very long time for me) tediously help me GROW in his grace...........and He is still pulling out the “weeds” today.
This is the hardest thing...to truly look at yourself and then make the wrong right. I'm so thankful I can just whisper a word of prayer and know that help is on the way. Thank you Jesus
I really love this post and v12. Thanks Brother Hal! It's so obvious, when looking back, to see how our responses to a situation had nothing to do with the other person but has everything to do with how we see/view ourselves.