December 16

1 John 3

Those who say they love God must manifest that love by loving others.


The final test of Christian character is action, not words. It is not what you say that determines your life message, but what you do. John writes: "Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (v. 18). Consistency is one of the great challenges of the Christian walk. Whenever our actions do not match our words, the message of our actions always overrides the message of our words. Therein lies the basis for one of the most consistent complaints against Christianity over the ages: hypocrisy.


Praise God for loving you unconditionally and giving you the capacity to love others:
Vindicate me, O Lord,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in the Lord;
I shall not slip.
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
Nor will I go in with hypocrites. . . .
My foot stands in an even place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord. (Psalm 26:1-4, 12).

Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
"Let all Your enemies perish, O Lord!
But let those who love Him be like the sun
When it comes out in full strength." (Judges 5:31).

Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:35, 37-39)

As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
consistent, loving actions,
complete honesty at all times,
your activities for the day.

Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:3-4). 

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