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August 17 – May the real force be with you!

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18 

Scripture reading: 1 John 3:11-20

We are never on our own. This may seem an obvious enough statement. Of course, we’re never on our own! Even retreating to an uninhabited island means we have to be connected to someone.

The apostle John recognizes this. He, however, doesn’t see relationships as something to put up with; rather he has a positive message for it. He says they are opportunities for love: Real love. Not something we might feel or say is good, but something deeper and meaningful. He ties it in with a foundation – “in truth” he describes it. What could that be but the truth of the Gospel? What Jesus Christ did in His sacrificial death is the only proper motivation. It’s only on that basis that there are “deeds”.

Take a minister, for example, preaching a sermon on the eighth commandment. He preaches it with a fiery conviction. Yet, that same afternoon he casually takes an apple from his neighbour’s tree. All those pious words counted for nothing. Unless the motivation which generates our words also works a redeeming grace in our lives, we are spiritually useless.

It’s this redeeming grace which makes all the difference in our relationships. It means what we say, is what we are. For our brother or sister, or neighbour, that’s what really counts. Then the Holy Spirit – the Real Force for good – is with us and in us.

Suggestions for prayer

Seek repentance for your acts of hypocrisy. Pray for genuine love to break through all our relationships.

Rev. Sjirk Bajema currently serves the RCNZ Oamaru, in Oamaru, New Zealand. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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