“Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”
1 John 3:15
The Sins of The King
When flowers bloomed, temperatures warmed, and kings left for war, King David stayed home and napped. Refreshed, he strolled the palace’s roof and spotted Bathsheba bathing. That lingering look birthed sin and—ultimately—murder.
And how did the man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) digress to murder?
Matters of The Heart
The king should have marched to war with his army. He was not where he should have been. We also don’t read any confession of sins until after Nathan the prophet confronts him. When the king finally assessed the condition of his heart in Psalm 51, it was black and murderous.
The majority of us will never commit murder, but Jesus expanded the definition to include anger (Matthew 5:22). How will we respond when someone jokes about our spouse in public? What words will fly when another cuts us off in traffic? How will we react when the Democrat or Republican across the table vehemently opposes our beliefs? How will we approach our neighbor whose dog barks incessantly?
Love Extends Life
Slaying people with words and reactions is the moral equivalent of murder. The antidote for this anger is love. But how do we love our neighbor whose dog is still barking at 1:00 in the morning? Our strength will never cut it. It’s Jesus’ love that will enable us to love the person across the yard or the table who has angered us. It’s His love that will mark us as true believers.
When we’re filled with the love of Jesus, we’ll supernaturally offer it to others—a love this world desperately needs and that God commands.
Let’s ask God to show us any barriers preventing us from loving others. Record what you learn. Confess if you need to, then ask God to fill your heart with His love. Ponder the length, width, height, and depth of Jesus’ love for you this week.