“The message you have heard from the beginning is that we should love one another, not as Cain, who was one of the evil ones and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deed was evil, and his brothers were righteous. We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and we know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.  We know love by this that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in Him? Little children, let us not love with word or tongue, but in deed and truth”. (1 John 3:11-18 NASB)

You have just read the writing of the Apostle John, written in the first century. Are these words still realistic today? We live in a world of violence, division, and anger. Love? Perhaps it is okay to those who are of my kind and idealism, but for those different than me…do I need to love them?

What is the source of love? Is it a social grace that is taught in my home or in my education? Why is it that some people are filled with hate and revenge?

There are several things to note that the text is telling me. The first is the love Jesus had for me motivated Him to give His life for me. “We know this because He laid down His life for us.” (Verse 16) Jesus held no animosity, even toward those who slew Him. His words were, “Father forgive them…”. The love of Jesus also shows no limits. Even a thief that was put to death right beside Jesus was guaranteed paradise that very same day.

This tells me that my life will not be significantly changed until I am touched by that love. How can that be done? The very nature of God Himself can be transferred to me through His Son Jesus Christ. This kind of love will have a profound impact on me.

What is it that happens when we are loved unconditionally? First, I accept who I am.  I cease comparing myself with others, and I stop trying to overhaul myself. I come to terms with who I am. Secondly, anger dissolves. Much of this anger I feel is inner anger. I do not like myself. I feel like a failure, and then I begin to act out my feelings. I must confess that there is also outer anger. Anger towards circumstances or people that hinder me from becoming who I want to be. They become roadblocks to me, and I get angry at them.
When I get rid of the toxic poisons that pollute my life, it opens the door for forgiveness. This forgiveness is first inner forgiveness. I feel clean inside as I release all the poisons in my inner life. My failures, memories, and blame all are neutralized through this unconditional love I experience. I then experience outer forgiveness, those issues outside of my life that I see as roadblocks and hindrances that stop me from becoming the good person I want to become. This step can be a tough one for some people. There are people or even parents that have hurt them. It can be difficult to let these issues dissolve with this unconditional love that cleanses me. There are some people we find impossible to forgive because it is impossible for them to become who we want them to be.

The secret to this miracle of life change is given to us in 1 John 3:9; “No one who is born of God practices sin, because the God’s seed abides in him…and he is born of God”. “Born of God.” Chew on that statement. I did not make that up. God said I could be “born” with His seed implanted in me. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” What does this imply?

It can be illustrated in human birth. When the male “seed” joins the female egg, an embryo is conceived, and out of that, the miracle of a new life takes place. The DNA of that embryo and new life will carry all the markers of the parents that created that marvel. The male seed joins the female egg, and a new birth takes place.

This is exactly what John is referring to in 3:9. God’s “seed” is implanted in me, and His “seed” carries with it all of God’s nature [DNA]. I am “born of God,” and His nature now lives within me. It is only through this process that I experience true forgiveness. Out of this forgiveness comes His love. This allows me to be able to accept myself, forgive myself, and then forgive others that have kept me bound in the chains of unforgiveness.

Here is the essence of true love. It is not human, though it is expressed through humans. It brings peace where there has been extreme conflict. This love allows me to accept myself for who I am and allows me to be who God created me to be.

Because His “seed” now abides in me, I have confidence in who He is, and I have confidence in who I am. “We shall know by this that we are of the truth and shall be assured [confidence] before Him…”. Confidence is a marvelous quality and brings assurance to our life. So many times in life, I have needed this confidence. It seems like life wants to overwhelm us at times. It is asking more from me than what I feel I am capable of producing. I need the confidence that I am not in this all by myself.

Paul expresses this very well. “Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying yet, our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, for we are looking not at the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal”. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Share This post

New to Whitefish Assembly?

You can attend in-person or online! Plan your experience today!

New to Whitefish Assembly?

You can attend in-person or online!

Plan Your Experience

Plan Your Experience Form

Hi there! Can I get your contact information?

Want to pre-register any children?

What date would you like to schedule your visit?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


150 Lamb Ln, Whitefish, MT, 59937





Sunday Online & in-person Gatherings at 10:30 Am

Growing together through relationships with God and each other