Check out the entire reading plan @ Scripture Reading Plan- Journey to Easter

Recently while visiting Target a man in the check out line was loading his groceries on the belt when he leaned in and grabbed a Valentine Card from the awaiting items.   He handed it to the cashier and told him that he no longer wanted the card.  This caught his wife’s attention (who up to this point did not know anything about the card) and when she looked at him he said, “Well, I was going to buy you a card, but you took too long in the store.  Of course, my first thought was “What woman does not spend too long in Target?”  But then my next thought was that I got a little mad at the man for how he had deflated his wife.  (And if you though I was mad- You should have seen Jeana’s reaction to the man’s actions) This was certainly not a showing of true love.

As we focus on “We Love” at Cottonwood Creek and as Valentines Day approaches- today’s reading, 1 John 3 is right on TARGET!

1 John 3 repeats the word ‘LOVE’ throughout the chapter.  We are told in verse 3 that we are loved because we are called children of God. Verse 11 tells us that from the beginning we have been told to “love one another.”  We are given an example of real love with Christ’s sacrifice for us in verse 16.  True love is explained in verse 18 as love that is not all talk- WE are to love with our actions not just with our words.

The chapter concludes with an equal command to believe in Christ AND to love one another.

So, do you think that LOVE is important?  I do.

John Mark Caton, Ph.d



What did I learn from the passage that I didn’t know before?

What did the passage mean to those first century readers?

What does the passage mean to me?

What verse really stuck out to me?

What changes do I need to make in my life?

What verse gives me comfort or wisdom in my trials and difficulties?

What is God’s will for my life?

Is there a verse that I would like to memorize?

1 John 3

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

More on Love and Hatred

11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[b] if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.


  1. 1 John 3:2 Or when it is made known
  2. 1 John 3:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 16.