John's goal in this chapter is to settle the hearts and minds of God's kids by helping them understand what a walk with Jesus looks like. He starts by reminding them that a person who walks in sin is not a Christ-follower. These are harsh words especially for parents whose children have gone astray. It is a reality, however, that when a person comes to Jesus, they become a new creation. While that person still sins, it is no longer his lifestyle, because God's Spirit has moved in. He also reminds them that they cannot hate their brother and then say they love God. This is another harsh reality for his readers, because hatred seems to spread through all generations, and we, as Christians, can struggle with it just as much as anyone else. God, however, has commanded us to "love our neighbor." He did not qualify neighbor, He simply said love that person that He brings into your life whether they are sweet and kind or selfish and mean. He concludes the chapter by reminding his readers that a true Christ-follower will persevere through the tragedies and hardships of life and continue their walk with Jesus. Christians can get depressed; they can feel defeated; they struggle with the decision to stay or walk away, but the true follower of Jesus will persevere in his/her walk with the Almighty. In the midst of these harsh realities, John reveals the one promise we can count on in this world: eternal life. Once we accept Jesus, we can know without question that we will experience a beautiful eternity with Him.

Help me, Lord, to keep Your commandments, to love my neighbor, and to persevere in this walk with You. Help me to look forward to eternity as I struggle through the difficulties of life.