Devotional: A new commandment
The third chapter of John's first Epistle, verse 14, says:
"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren, whoever does not love his brother abides in death." (NKJ)
We see the clear‑cut issue ‑ death or life. To love the brothers is to be in life; to fail to love the brothers is to be in death. There's no halfway condition between life and death. We know this is true in the natural. It's true in the spiritual and in the moral.
Again, a little further on in the same third chapter, verse 18:
"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (NKJ)
And here we have two pairs of opposites ‑ love on the one hand that's only in word or in tongue, it's just words, it's superficial, it's unreal, or love that is in deed and in truth. And again, there's nothing in-between. We either say we love and prove it by our actions, or we say we love and deny it by our actions and we're insincere. We're hypocrites.
And then, in the fourth chapter, verses 17 and 18, another pair of opposites.
"Love has been among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (NKJ)
You see the two opposites there ‑ fear on the one hand or boldness on the other. If we do not have boldness, we are subject to fear. So those are just some of the pairs of opposites in moral categorization according to which God categorizes us and the whole human race. And in every case we see, there are mutually exclusive opposites with nothing half way in between.
Now there's one more vitally important fact that I need to share with you before I close this series of messages. On this basis that's the basis of these opposites, we will face the judgment of God. Second Corinthians 5:10:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (NKJ)
So we're all going to have to answer to God one day for our lives ‑ what we've done, the way we've lived. But there are only two possible categories that our actions will fall into ‑ either good or bad. So don't be deceived. Don't think there's moral neutrality in the way you live. There is no moral neutrality. Everything you and I do is either good or bad and we're going to answer to God for it.
I praise You Lord for Your precious Word full of life and strength. I want to feed myself and express Your truths about my family, my work, my family and friends, my whole life ... for Your word is truth and always has the answer. I want to think like you Lord, and stay in Your love, light and grace. Thank you! Amen.
This devotional is taken from