Accountability, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Choices, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Hatred, Hypocrisy, Inspirational, Love, Mentoring, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE

1 JOHN 4:20

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

Have you ever heard that saying “Liar, Liar, pants on fire”? We would say it as kids, right? When we knew someone was lying, we would call them out. No one likes to be called a liar. There is one sure fire way of not – don’t lie. Just tell the truth. Easy peasy, problem solved. Lol

John calls us out in today’s verse. If we say we love God and hate our brother, we don’t love God. John says we are a liar. John doesn’t beat around the bush. He calls them like he sees them. Notice he says “brother.” Now, who is that referring to? Just our saved brothers? How about our sisters? How about the lost? I believe John is referring to all people. After all, God has created them all in His image. How could we not love them?

APPLICATION

You may have the occasion to hear your child say I just hate so and so. If you hear that, nip it in the bud. I mean, deal with it quickly. Hate has no room in the vocabulary of a believer, except to say we hate sin. Our children need to be taught that early. They may not like some people as much as others. That’s natural, but hate doesn’t belong.

Teaching them to love requires time. All people deserve love. We are God’s instruments of love to others, especially the lost. When we love them, we are showing them what He has done in our lives. Our love becomes an avenue on which they can travel to find Jesus. Have you ever thought about that? Love them so they can love Him.

I grew up in South Georgia during a time when racism was the norm. I still recall the names some people used to refer to people who had a different skin color than themselves. It went both ways. And those same people would be sitting in the church pew on Sunday morning singing and talking about God’s love. God forgive us for our disobedience. Will you love like Jesus? Will you love your “brother”?

I choose to love, Father. I will see others as You see them. They are, after all, made in Your image. We are all in need of a Savior.

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Accountability, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Destruction, Double-minded, Evil, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Parenting, Relationships, Scripture, Self-control, Testimony

HATE = MURDER

1 JOHN 3:15

“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

Have you ever hated someone so much you wanted to kill them? I am sure you quickly say No! Not many of us would ever let that thought cross our mind. But have you thought of ways to “payback” someone for something they have done to you? Come on, be honest. It’s not a far stretch from one to the other, in the eyes of the world. Hate is hate and only leads to wrong choices.

John is not saying everyone who hates is actually going to kill someone. But he is saying that spirit of hate harbored in your heart comes from the source. There’s no room for hatred in the life of a believer. Did Jesus hate? Of course, not. And if we are to emulate our Master, we must lie down anything that is contrary to Him.

APPLICATION

Your children are going to come in one day from school or play and say, “I hate…” You had better jump on that one. You need to find out what is going on and why. We cannot have our children hating others. We know people say and do things that hurt their feelings, but hatred can be no response.

So, what do we teach them during these times. To love. That’s it. We teach them to pray for those who have harmed them. We teach them to try to figure out why they have done or said those things. Sin has a reason. We know that. As you lead them to pray for those individuals, pray for those who have harmed you as well.

Children watch us forgive. They learn forgiveness best by forgiving. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. When we remember that it is the Lord who forgives through us, it is a lot easier. Allow Him to just love them as only He can. Make sure they know it is because of His love for them that you forgive. They may reject that. That’s okay. Their acceptance is not your responsibility. Your forgiveness is.

I will harbor no hatred in my heart toward others. I will love as You do, Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Accountability, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Choices, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Hatred, Love, Mentoring, Modeling, Parenting, Relationships, Scripture, The World

SURPRISE – NOT

1 JOHN 3:13

“Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”

I don’t exactly remember the first time I realized the world hated me because of my beliefs. I mean, I know my walk with Christ does not exactly measure up to the world’s walk. My exposure to hatred has been more from some individuals who wanted to argue about abortion, same sex marriage or another strongly held belief. My refusal to argue with them only seemed to make them want to fight more. Have you experienced that?

John is warning us to not be surprised. In fact, that is a command – DO NOT be surprised. He is essentially telling us we are going to face this. But we are not to hate back. Jesus warned us of this Himself. John heard Him say that. John watch how He responded to their hatred, all the way to the cross. He heard Him say those words on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

APPLICATION

Here we go again. How do you teach your children this truth? You live it out before them. Every time someone treats you with hatred, you respond with love. When they continue to hate you, you continue to love. You invite your children to pray with you for that person. You ask the Lord to break down that hatred they have in their heart because we know it is not of God.

Children learn from that. They are watching. They will imitate those actions much quicker than just repeat your words. And when you see them imitate that love, make sure you praise them for it. Let them know how proud you are of them for choosing love over hatred.

Is there someone you need to love more today who has shown you nothing but scorn and hatred? I didn’t say it was easy. Hatred towards us, if we are living for Christ, is really hatred towards Him. He received it. Why shouldn’t we? Allow Jesus to love through you. Don’t return the hate. Return love.

I choose love over hate, even when I know it will be difficult. Help me, Lord, to surrender to you daily.

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