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Devotional: April 23, 2021

I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed. Second John, verses 4-6 The Message Love is the central theme of the Gospel. Here, John the evangelist commends a congregation for remaining faithful to Christ’s command that they love one another. While John is addressing a specific congregation, we all are part of the Church Universal. Therefore, we all are given the same instructions. Although Second John is one of the shortest books in the entire bible, with only one chapter and 13 verses, John focuses like a laser upon the message of love. For John, love means following the commandments. Other translations of this passage speak of “walking in the truth.” This is a helpful analogy. When walking along a road, there are certain ways one should walk, in order to be safe. We should walk along the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. We could walk in the middle of the road, but we would likely be hit by a car or a truck. Similarly, we stay on the road. We do not wander off the road and onto people’s private property, especially where there are homes where it is posted “Beware of Dog!” Some voices in our world encourage us to “push unnecessary limits”, and “cross dangerous boundaries”. These voices encourage us to go to places which are not wise or smart for us to visit. Christ wants us to go out into all the world and preach His gospel, and love others. I do not believe that this includes having a lack of common sense and throwing caution to the wind. That is not our calling. We are called to walk in God’s commandments, and to walk in love. We are following the Lord’s path, not the path of everyone else in our culture. Sometimes our journeys may be long and exhausting, but we are not walking alone. The love we show along our path is the love that John reminded his church to follow. We love because of the love shown by Christ, who gave His life for us. Ask yourself: Am I walking in love? Have I been faithful to God’s commandments? Or, have I been walking recklessly and carelessly, crossing boundaries not meant to be crossed? It is vital to our faith to remain true to Christ’s teachings. Therefore, we need to be wise when we listen to directions. If your GPS is telling you to go in a direction that seems unwise or dangerous, trust the Lord’s coordinates. He is the best GPS we can ever count on! When we are proceeding in love, Christ will guide us, every step of the way. Consider what John says in verse 8 of his letter: “Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son.” Second John, verse 8 Let us remain faithful in love, and faithful to God. Prayer God of love, Amid all of the voices we hear, let us listen for Your eternal voice. May we heed its call to love You, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Keep us faithful to Your path. Prevent us from wandering off into unknown and dangerous territory, lest we find ourselves mired in sin. May we never walk out on You, for You have always been faithful to us. I pray this prayer in the name of Your son, and my Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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