[Maximum Joy Series] Love Your Brother And Know Your Real Enemies

Day 1 of 8 • This day’s reading


God’s Love Language

Have you ever heard or read about the Five Love Languages? It is a book written by Gary Chapman, an author and marriage counselor who has suggested that close relationships (husband-wife, parents-children) have five general ways in which they perceive love: words of affection, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. 

Imagine a parent speaking Chinese and a child who speaks Russian—would it be possible for them to understand their love for each other? They could spend hours saying “I love you” with little to no results. Do you think that this relationship would ever achieve intimacy? Fellowship? Unless you learn to “speak” your child’s or spouse’s love language, intimacy and fellowship would be very difficult to achieve. Learning a new language is hard, and when it comes to intimacy and fellowship, it can take a lifetime. 

Have you ever asked yourself if God has a primary “love language”? What if He does? Wouldn’t it be essential for us to discover it? After significant cross-reference between 1 John and the upper room discourse (John chapters 13 and 14), it comes as no surprise that God’s love language is: keeping His commandments. 

In the first devotional plan of these series, we looked at the apostle John’s intention and general idea when writing his first epistle (letter) to the church. Throughout the letter, John established the difference between relationship and fellowship. The apostle sees presently known sin in the life of a believer as a massive barrier to intimate fellowship with God. Our present sinfulness in our condition on earth does not threaten our position before God in heaven (our eternal relationship), but it most certainly is a threat to our fellowship with God on earth. 

If our desire is not just to settle for a relationship with our Heavenly Father but to seek close fellowship with Him, then there are three principles John wants to teach us. Each principle deals with a potential barrier to a close fellowship with God: 

1. Right living: deals with our potential problem with sin (1:5–2:2).

2. Right loving: deals with our potential problem with our Christian brothers and sisters (2:3–11).

3. Right learning: deals with our potential problem with the enemies of Christianity (2:12–28).

In the second devotional plan, we covered our potential problem with sin. In this devotional plan, we will address the second and the third barrier that get in the way of our fellowship with God: potential problems with our Christian brothers and sisters, and with the enemies of Christianity—the world and the Devil. 

The truth will set us free and will also allow us to love right and to learn right, to experience maximum joy.