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Pastor's Thoughts

When John wrote the first letter we have of his to the churches of his time and place, he had many dangerous issues in mind to warn them about. But one in particular stood out. Trouble was coming, and it was coming to Christians specifically. It would come in the form of persecution — estrangement from friends, betrayal, removal of personal freedoms, loss of work and income, confiscation of property, destruction of homes and businesses, separation from family, arrest, incarceration, torture, and even death. All because of their faith in Jesus Christ and their open testimony about Him. And it would come from the highest and most powerful earthly force that they could imagine — the mighty Roman Empire. They needed to be ready to persevere in this holocaust. But how? By their faith and trust in Almighty God, of course. But also by one other thing…by love, for each other. John let those Christians to whom he wrote know that it would be not only their devotion to Christ that would stand out to those persecuting them, but also the Christlike love that they would have for and show toward each other as followers of Christ and siblings in the family of God. John let these Christians know that when the troubles came, they would need each other. They could only hold it all together by living in the love of Jesus. The same is true of us today, Church. The Bible says, “Love one another, for love is of God.” So be it!



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