2 John v 1 - 6

John writes here as one whose authority goes out to the Church at large and he begins his second letter by stating that he is writing to the chosen, or elect, lady. John is writing to a church, just as Peter was in 1 Peter 5 v 13, where the Greek literally reads: 'The elect one at Babylon' and 'the elect one' is feminine. We don't know to which church he writes, but it is quite likely that this is deliberately unidentifiable as John wrote at a time of great persecution for the Church. It may also have been written as a personal letter to fool any outsider who may have intercepted it. For John, love and truth are completely inseparable and in becoming a Christian believer, two foundational things can be learned about love: 1. Christian truth tells us the way in which we should love. There are different Greek words for love and the greatest of these is agape, the love of God. This can be defined as 'undefeatable goodwill' exemplified by the words of Jesus on the cross: ''Father, forgive them...''. Christian love will always seek the highest good of others and will accept all the difficulties which that search involves. 2. Christian truth tells us the reason for the obligation of love, for that is what it is. Jesus commanded His disciples: ''Love one another as I have loved you''. Christians must love because they are loved! The commitment to be hospitable, to reach out to any fellow believer who is struggling, to meet with other brothers and sisters in Christ regularly for mutual support is not optional, it is compulsory, and if you aren't doing it, then that must be put right. I believe that God in His grace allows us times of quietness when we are ill, have family issues or when we become very elderly, but even then we should be praying, seeking the others' higher good and prepared to push ourselves-to offer up the sacrifice of praise-by inviting the single person, the young adult, those troubled themselves, for a meal or coffee or to stay. I do not think that we do this as well as we used to and I would urge you to either begin or extend your reach!

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