'Little children,
 love one another'

Wednesday Reflection

30th September 2020

'that we should be called children of God!'

1 How great is the love
  the Father has lavished on us,
  that we should be called children of God!
  And that is what we are!
    .... 1 John 3.1

An unusual survey was done a few years ago.
Participants in the survey
were asked this question.

'What 3 word sentence would you most like
to hear or have said to you?'

The top three answers pretty much sum up
the needs of all of mankind.

1. I love you.....
2. I forgive you.......
3. Supper is ready.

Doesn't that pretty much sum up our needs?
We have emotional, physical,
and most importantly spiritual needs.
We need to be loved, forgiven,
and we need provision.
God meets every one of these needs;
in fact he meets all of these needs
because of one primary thing,
and that is the fact,
the eternal, unconditional fact,
that He Loves Us.

The letters of John are warm and personal,
reflecting the character of this saint,
who was now probably in his eighties
when he wrote this.
Some call them 'fatherly letters',
but given his age,
'grandfatherly' might be
a more appropriate description.

They were written at a time
when the church was being affected
for good or ill by travelling Bible teachers.
John is very concerned about the damage
these are causing,
but is too elderly to travel -
unlike the false teachers who,
it seems, are able to promote
their heresy with considerable enthusiasm.
Hence these letters were his best way
of addressing the problem.

There is a story about John, in his old age,
which we know from church records.
It reveals John's balance of truth and love.
He stood firmly for the truth,
refusing to compromise,
especially concerning the person of Jesus;
but at the same time
he was the most loving old man.

An early church writer, Jerome,
tells a story about John from the 90's AD.

By this time John was very old,
and used to be carried into church
every week, on a chair
with poles through it.
The church members would often ask him to speak.
He would sit in the chair at the front
and he'd just say,
'Little children, love one another!'

The next Sunday they would carry him
into church and ask if he had a word for them.
'Yes,' he'd say, 'I've got a word for you today.'
They would carry the chair
to the front and he'd say,
'Little children, love one another!'

The next Sunday they brought him in
and exactly the same thing happened.
They began to think he was getting senile.
Didn't he realize that he kept
repeating the same words?

They finally went to the old man and said,
'Master, why do you always say,
"Little children, love one another"?'
He said: 'Because it is the Lord's command,
and if this only is done, it is enough.'

John is the only person
in the Bible to make the statement,
'God is love.'

Let us love one another
as those who do what is right
and love their brothers and sisters
as those who demonstrate
they are children of God.