Through New Eyes!

1 John 2:7-11
 
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
 
Have you ever been taught to do something without being told why you were doing it? Most of us have. We teach soldiers to march which seems such a waste of time when they want to be training to shoot and fight so they can defeat the enemy when called upon to do so. We teach our children to obey their parents, to clean their rooms and plates, and to be respectful of adults and many of them think it is just their mom and dad exercising their authority for no good reason. However when the soldier goes to war and finds he is not acting alone but is part of a well trained team who works together instinctively then he sees the reason for the long hours spent drilling and teaching them to march as one. As our kids grow they can see the value in their parents instructions as the discipline they were shown growing up has trained them to be people of character and purpose. The reason and heart behind the lessons is not always apparent until something happens in our lives that helps us see the value in the discipline and rules. 
 
John tells his readers that what he is teaching is not a new thing, it is the same commandments that they had learned from the Word of God. But something has happened that is going to let them see God’s Word through new eyes. Jesus Christ has come as the light of the world and now through the Gospel we can look at His word, not as a list of do’s and don’ts, but as a message of Grace breathed into our lives from God himself! Its the same old commandment seen through new eyes.
 
Yesterday we spoke about the commandment given in Leviticus 19:18 and then reinforced by Jesus in Matthew 22:29 and then mentioned again by the lawyer in Luke 10:27, to love your neighbor as yourself. The parable that followed in Luke explained that their neighbor was more than the person next door, or across the isle from you in church. He spoke of a Samaritan who showed love and compassion to a Jew. These two groups of people were like oil and water but Jesus says it is in these situations that we have been called to share the Love of Christ! John says that if you walk in the Love of Christ then you walk in His light and your steps are sure. But He also says that hate has no business in biblical Christianity and if you hate then you are still in the darkness, empty of the light of Christ, lost and blind. This is the heart behind the commandment – that we may love as Christ loves! John 1:5 tells us that the light of Christ shines into the darkness and the darkness is overpowered and defeated. Do we see hate in the lives of people who claim to be Christians? Yes. How can that be? It is not my place to determine whether or not a person is truly saved, but what I do know is Darkness and Light cannot exist in the same place. It does make me question if that person truly Knows Christ!
 
Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ we must examine our hearts for any seed of hate. If Christ, who is our example, loved us when we were His enemies enough to die on the cross for us, the we must love as He loves. That means our brothers, our neighbors, our enemies – there are no exemptions to who we should share the Love of Christ with as we see the world through His eyes!



 

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