About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Full-Time Lovers


Kenny Rogers' song "Day-time Friends - Night-time Lovers" hit number one on Billboard's country chart in 1977.  Despite the title of this article, I will not comment on how a day-time friend becomes a night-time lover.  I'll leave that to Kenny Rogers to explain.  I will, however, comment on what the apostle John called a "full-time lover."   


John's first letter was written to Christians in need of some encouragement.  Their community of believers had been ripped apart by heretics with their divisive and destructive false doctrines.  It appears that John's Christian readers began to question their faith in Jesus because of the confusing mess left behind by the heretics.  John's intent in writing this letter was to contrast the characteristics of a real Christian with those of a false Christian.  His hope, then, was to re-affirm the validity of his readers' faith in Jesus.  One such character trait of a real believer is found in 1 John 2:10.  The CSB version of this verse reads:


"The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him."


The character trait of a real Christian seen in this verse is that he or she lives in the light of God's love and does nothing to cause a fellow believer to be tripped up in his or her walk of faith


The word "loves" in the phrase "the one who loves" is a Greek present participle.  It's not a verb as we read in our English text.  This emphasizes one "being a lover" and not just one performing an occasional "act of love."  There is a difference between one being a full-time lover and one performing acts of love every now and then.      


Full-time Christian lovers realize that their words and subsequent behaviour impact the lives of those to whom they are placed alongside in the Body of Christ.  Due to their new nature in Christ, their heart's desire is to edify and encourage all who cross their paths.  They are careful in what they say and how they say it.  They are swift to hear and slow to speak, as James 1:19 states.  They promote others over themselves.  Yes, they will fail at times to exhibit their full-time lover capabilities, but at the core of who they are, they are full-time lovers of the brotherhood of Christ.  In this they confirm what Jesus said to be true in their lives.  "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).




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