The Original Love (1 John 3:11 - 15)
Be ready for a confusing devotion. I will explain at the end.
John brings us back to Genesis, before sin, "... you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another ..." When it says that God created human beings in His image, one of the meanings is that we are relational being. Another way of putting it is we are made for relationship. We are to relate to God and one another.
The next thing you want to pick up is that relationship is simply define as loving one another. There is no otherwise. Human only had capacity to love in relationship. There was no room for hatred. In fact there was no such thing as hatred. Hatred came in only when Adam and Eve sinned against God.
God made us for relationship and to love God and people. It was perfect love. No such thing as hurting one another, talking bad, jealousy, impatience, unkindness, ... and hatred. Imagine there was no such thing as forgiveness because there was no wrong against one another.
But ... when sin entered, hatred came along. With hatred in humans' heart, love is never the same again. We struggle in relationship from then on. The climax of that struggle is murder. All these struggles in relationship, jealousy, comparing unhealthily, unguarded anger, insecurity and murder were something that never happened or thought of in all of eternity before then.
When you understand how alien hatred was to God and His original creation, then you understand why John made this statement, "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." God through Christ redeems us to the original, only capable to love, with no such thing as hatred. A believer is a new creation and hatred totally has no place.
I am sure you are confused in reading this, not in the sense of understanding with your mind but your heart. We simply cannot comprehend love without hatred. We are confused because we never experience it nor can we imagine it. In fact we have never seen it. Hold on... Read 1 John 3:11-15 again. It tells us otherwise. Are you sure you have not seen it or experienced pure live or are simply living in a lie? Read the Gospels, look at Jesus. Look carefully. Read without our human lens of a faulty love. The Gospels present clearly perfect love through Jesus. And the way He loved is what John wrote about. It is the love we are called to. In fact you have experienced it, from Jesus towards you, "... Jesus died for you."
Lord Jesus, it is so difficult to understand perfect love because we constantly hear that there is no such thing. We live in that lie that love has to be messed up. Help us break out of this lie by knowing you again, seeing you love perfectly and experiencing you love for me again and again ... so that I too can grow to love like you more and more. Thank you Jesus for being my vision. Amen