Day 11

Walking in Love

from the 1, 2 & 3 John reading plan


2 John 1:1-13, John 8:31-32, 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

BY Lore Ferguson Wilbert

There is a foot of height between us, but I have learned to keep up, quicken my step, and match my stride to my husband’s. He ran Division 1 Track and Field for his university and, to this day, he can run a mile while I’m still changing into my sneakers.

But when we walk, we walk at a matched pace: he’s a little slower than normal and I’m a little faster. When he asks me to go for a walk, he does it because he loves me and he loves spending time with me. Walking at different paces—though more comfortable for each of us—would not be the loving thing to do.

I think of this today while reading the second letter of John. He speaks of walking in love (2 John 6) and then goes on to warn of those who walk ahead on their own, rather than abide in Christ’s teaching (v.9). I can think of times when I’ve lagged behind or gotten ahead and someone else has paid the price for it. I tend to assume other people view the gospel through the same lens I do, and then I forget to communicate both love and truth to someone whose path has strayed (Ephesians 4:15).

There have been times when I have not abided in Christ’s teachings because, deep down, I think I can somehow say it better or faster or smarter. Or I have lagged behind, not kept up with the deep and fervent truth of the gospel, and become lazy in my sin and relationships with others.

The flurry of day-to-day life here on earth can cause us to forget what’s real, true, and eternal. We forget and we wander off, distracted. No wonder the writer of Hebrews said, “Let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2). There is much to be said for the hard work of running the race toward Jesus, but here in his letter, John tells us to simply walk—to walk in love.

For me, it’s always easier to run ahead or lag behind, to grow distracted by what’s around me or impatient for what’s ahead of me. But John says, Beloved, walk. Match your pace to the One who loved you first and walk, one step in front of another, faithful in practice—not for a particular result, but simply to walk with your Father and enjoy His presence. This reminds me of Enoch, whose whole existence could be wrapped up with this line: he “walked faithfully with God; then he was no more because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24, NIV).

To walk in love is to match my stride to the love of God, the King of the universe, who put on flesh and became fully human to show us how to live (John 1:14; 1John 4:2). He slowed His pace to meet ours, to teach us how to run the race. In the end and by His grace, may our own lives echo these words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2Timothy 4:7).

Post Comments (83)

83 thoughts on "Walking in Love"

  1. Angela D says:

    2 John 1:10-11 confuses me…can anyone shed some light?
    “10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, don’t greet him; 11 for the one who greets him shares in his evil works.”
    Doesn’t this go against Jesus’ teaching of loving your neighbor (including your enemy)? I give love and grace to anyone, even if they don’t believe the same things as I do. It would feel wrong to not allow people into my home and my life that don’t exactly hold the same beliefs as me. Am I looking at this wrong?

    1. Angela D says:

      I think I just answered my own question by diving deep into my study Bibles. The “home” referenced in these verses would have referred to people’s home churches, since the church was in the home back then. So welcoming traveling false teachers into your home would mean welcoming false teachings into your church at a time when there were many people denying Jesus’ humanity. Allowing them into the churches could put everyone’s salvation at risk. I can see that hospitality would have been a risk in light of this.

  2. Mari V says:

    @Jessie. Praying for Rebecca

  3. Maura says:

    Love reading this morning. Matching our step with His, so beautiful and reminded me that He is in the yoke with me from another srt devotion. Do not lose heart Sisters our God is faithful. He longs for us to match our step with His, soak in His word and love and pour it out. Praying for the requests this morning. If you are overwhelmed, know you are not alone, read Psalm 91, take the hand of the Master, Jesus loves you/us more than we can fathom. Hugs all.

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Mary Pitner says:

    Today’s reading spoke loudly to me. Whispered to me. The words ran through my veins. I want to walk in that love and help others to do the same. I want to let God take the lead and set the path. All too often, I sprint ahead in my enthusiasm, when I should be walking and listening.

  5. Dawn says:

    Erin, I resonate with your comments. While my kids are older, I am not finding this quarantine time to be less busy because both my husband and I are working from home while helping both kids do school from home. I struggle sometimes with wishing my circumstances were different so I COULD use this time for extra rest and reflection and that idea of me matching my pace to God’s is so comforting. He seems to be calling me to a faster pace than I’d prefer right now!

    1. Madelyn Pierce says:

      Hi Dawn, It was helpful to read yours and Erin’s comments because I actually am having the opposite issue during the quarantine. I just got married this year, have no kids, no job (I’m in grad school), and my husband still goes to work during the week. Because of this is hard to feel a sense of purpose and motivation and I actually envy parents like you because this time could be such a purposeful time of connecting with and investing in your kids. That being said, I’m sure you’re so exhausted. I think it just reminds me that everyone’s experiences has it’s pros/cons right now and I need to embrace the portion the Lord has given me now, instead of always yearning for something else.

  6. Erin Barth says:

    I hear so many during this time talk about slowing down, reflection and rest but I’m not personally experiencing any of that. I have 18 month old triplets, and am a stay at home Mom so this time has been pretty exhausting and challenging (my babes are the sweetest blessing, but can be chaos) because we can’t do play dates or get out. I appreciate the “pace” concept in today’s reading, but am still struggling to feel like I can join God’s in this season— it almost feels as if it’s just a time a spiritual scarcity for me. Oh, I find myself clinging to Jesus but not in the rich, reflective way that I could pre Motherhood.

    Just thought I’d chime in because frazzled Mom life doesn’t seem to be reflected here often, and I want to encourage any others reading that God has us right where we are supposed to be. If we are faithful with a little, he will bless us with much (Luke 16:10).

    1. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Erin, thank you so much for sharing your experience! I too am a mother to an 8th month old and this time isn’t restful. I am with her 24/7. Unfortunately, she is also teething right now so her sleep is disrupted. I don’t get any breaks and me and my husband haven’t had much quality time. Motherhood was and adjustment in itself, but this temporary normal is a whole other adjustment. I am so thankful for her during this time, I know that she gives me a sense of purpose and normalcy during this time, but it’s still hard. I will be praying for you my fellow mommy!

  7. Michelle Dornath says:

    ❤️

  8. ceegee says:

    Angie, yes I will pray harder for our school officials, teachers, and students! My family has been greatly impacted by this ‘change’ and I see first hand what a sacrifice they are making. God bless each and every one and you, too! Thank you for sharing your heart and encouragement here on a regular basis!

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