“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” 1 John 2:9-11
1 John contains some strong convictions about love. When we have any trace of hatred in our heart, we are still in darkness. Our hatred for a brother or sister keeps us blind and from loving God and others as we should. Notice verse 11: “they do not know where they are going.” Our hatred leads to blindness, which leads to losing direction! We are no longer following Christ when we harbor hatred. Loving our brothers and sisters completely is living in the light.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your heart and any areas of darkness. Ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to love–especially those whom are hard to love. Clearly, hatred is not compatible at all with following Christ. We must allow any hatred to be completely uprooted from our hearts in order to walk in the light.
“Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.”-Matthew 4:18-22
A few months ago, I heard a sermon that really stuck with me. The sermon was based off of the reading above. It brought up an idea I hadn’t thought of before: Jesus as the “Great Interrupter.” Usually we think of an interruption as something negative. Jesus brings another kind of interruption: He asks us to let Love in, and to allow our lives to be radically transformed. He asks us to abandon or re-evaluate our plans and ways of living for something greater.
When James and John set out on a boat that day to start work, they didn’t know that their lives would never be the same again. They had no idea that they would literally drop their nets, their careers, and lives as they knew it, and follow Jesus. What an eventful day that must have been! Mary certainly wasn’t expecting an angel to show up to her family’s abode in Nazareth and announce that she would carry the Son of God in her womb! Think about other stories in the Bible. Jesus never leaves things as they are.
We make plans for our lives. Some of us are determined and don’t want anything to derail us. Are you ready for Jesus, the Great Interrupter? If He asks you to lay down your plans and take a different direction, are you ready? Or are you determined to push away all interruptions, even if your Lord were the one stepping in? Take a moment to reflect. Is He stepping in and asking you to take a different direction?
Jesus: the Great Interrupter. With Him, our lives here and eternally will never be the same!
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.