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"Dead or Alive"

Date published: 07/23/2012
1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.  Anyone who does not love remains in death.”  (NIV)  
Do you have anyone you do not love or have to work really hard at loving?  I have to admit I have – okay, I even have some now!  Does this verse give you a good measurement for knowing if someone has passed from life to death, or does it make a Christian’s salvation contingent upon their performance to love others?  In many cases this verse does expose one’s heart and whether he/she knows Christ as Savior, but this occurrence in the life of a Christian not only shows disobedience to God’s command, but also exposes a war raging within the believer.  You cannot be in an un-reconciled conflict with another person and still walk in the fullness of your relationship with Christ.  As a believer, God’s Holy Spirit who lives in you is constantly drawing you towards love, reconciliation, and peace.  Your refusal to love and forgive puts you at war with the Holy Spirit; it also puts you outside of God’s work in your life.  Matthew 5:23 says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”  Before God will actively use you and work in your life, you must have a clear conscience toward those around you.  More than anything else, God wants His love to be evident in you.  Your passing from death to life in your salvation experience produces a profound change by the implantation of God’s love and Spirit in you.  Live every day as a vessel of God’s love as you demonstrate a transformed life that has passed out of death into life!   
John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."  (NIV)