In today’s society, hate has become a hot commodity that affects people from all backgrounds. It splits up groups of people who were intended to live together in harmony and in pure love.
As Christians, we know that hatred goes against God’s character and His purposes for our lives. In our devotional, we will examine the subject of conquering hate and living in love.
Come with me as we explore this crucial subject and learn about the influence of God’s love in our lives.
» Monday, 13th February 2023 | I Stand In The Gap Daily Devotional | Overcoming Hate and Living in Love
Yesterday’s daily devotional was on “Pleading the Blood of Jesus” and today’s is “Pleading the Blood of Jesus”.
Anchor verse of the day
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.1 John 4:7-12 (NKJV)
Our anchor verse of the day (1 John 4:7-12) emphasizes that love is an activity that is shown by adhering to God’s commands, and not only an emotion. Through this love, we may defeat hatred. This love is not just for God, but also for our neighbors.
The instructions in 1 John 4:7–12 exhort us to put love above hate and to allow God’s love to change us so that we might love others as He loves us.
Themes in 1 John 4:7-12
- God is love: God’s love is not just an emotion, but a character trait that defines Him.
- Love for one another: Believers must love one another through kindness, compassion, and sacrifice.
- Love casts out fear: Perfect love casts out fear, making us free from rejection, judgment, and harm.
- Love and obedience: John connects love with obedience to God, demonstrating our love for Him.
- Love and knowledge of God: Love for God and love for others leads to a deeper knowledge of Him.
Believers can gain a deeper understanding of what it means to love and be loved by reflecting on these themes.
Background to 1 John 4:7-12
It was written by the apostle John to a group of early Christians in order to address some theological and moral concerns that were developing within the church.
John argues that love is a fundamental quality of God and his people, emphasizing its significance. He asserts that the act of loving one another proves that we are genuine children of God and have come to know him.
John also cautions about false teachers who assert to have a direct link to God but who lack compassion for others, and he exhorts his readers to check the veracity of these claims by looking at the true evidence of their love.
He highlights that love is a choice to be kind and compassionate to others rather than only an emotion or sensation. He exhorts Christians to show one another the same kind of love that God has shown them and to use that love to defeat hatred.
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)
This verse stresses the significance of treating our neighbors with compassion and respect, as we would want to be treated ourselves. Leviticus 19:18’s message serves as a reminder that we are required to follow God’s instruction to love others in all spheres of our existence.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.1 John 4:7-12 (NKJV)
This passage discusses how passionate and all-consuming love is. Love is an unquenchable and relentless force and a formidable one that cannot be defeated.
What is hate?
When there are strong feelings of great hatred or hostility for someone or something, it is known as hate. It frequently results from sentiments of rage, irritation, or resentment and can take many forms, including verbal abuse, physical violence, or exclusion.
Hate can cause bad relationships, social discontent, and even violence. It can be motivated by individual prejudices, cultural biases (tribal, ethnic, and racial), or societal disputes.
If compassion, empathy, and understanding are not used to combat hatred, which is really the antithesis of love, it will have the ability to destroy communities and rip people apart.
Reflection on Overcoming Hate and Living in Love
As followers of Jesus, who demonstrated what true love is through His self-sacrifice on the cross, we are obligated to live a life of love. According to 1 John 4:7–12, God is love, and those who practice love abide in both God and God also in them.
This means that as Christians, we should try to demonstrate God’s love in every interaction, even when it may be challenging. It takes conscious effort to choose love over hate and to see others as God sees them in order to defeat hatred.
We can accomplish this by allowing God’s love to flood into our relationships and filling our hearts with it.
We must also understand that fear and insecurity are the primary causes of hate, and we must work to overcome these unpleasant feelings by placing our trust in God. In the end, loving others as God has loved us gives honor to His name, simply because it reflects the love that God has for us.
Let us pray
Our Father, we come to you today praying and meditating on the subject of “overcoming hatred and living in love.”
We pray for your direction and fortitude to enable us to live a life of love in the face of a world full of hatred and division. A world ruled by pure hatred for one another needs your love to reign supreme.
Father, help us to seek understanding and compassion for those who may not share our values in addition to loving others as we love ourselves.
We ask that you pour forth your love into our hearts so that we might spread peace and love throughout the world.
In the name of Jesus, help us to be forgiving and patient with one another, always looking to develop deeper relationships rather than walls.
We ask you, Lord, to grant us the ability to love others, from this day onwards, as ourselves so that we may genuinely live as your Word instructs.
In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray.