This week’s ‘Come, Follow Me’ nugget: The best Christmas prep you do might be reading John’s message on love

Young Beautiful Woman is Reading a Book Next to the Christmas tree and the Fireplace at Home
The most important Christmas prep you do might be reading John’s message on love.
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Busy week? Me too. LDSLiving’s Sunday on Monday podcast is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions with your family and at church on Sunday. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of 1-3 John and Jude.

The Revelation of John is on the horizon, and those are going to be some heavy weeks of study. But before we tackle the symbolism and apocalypse in John’s Revelation, he has a very simple message for us all.

God loves you

John loves love. It’s evident across his writings. John 3:16, John 15:13, John 13:34, and John 14:15 are all iconic scriptures about how we should love and how God loves us. Even throughout the book of John, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It’s obvious that there is no more important principle in John’s eyes than that of love.

That theme carries over to his three epistles located near the end of the New Testament, and much of the language John uses hearkens back to his gospel account, too.

1 John 3:16 is a great example of this:

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

In language that mirrors John 15:13, now John writes after the fact of Christ’s sacrifice. We already know it’s a great love to lay down your life, and that is exactly what Jesus did for us. Now we should show that same level of love and devotion for others.

One of my favorite elements of the Sunday on Monday podcast is the added perspective from different translations of the Bible throughout its history. The word love that we read in those verses is a powerful form of the word. It comes from the Greek agape which translates to the type of love John is talking about—the kind of love that means you are willing to lay down your life for someone else. There are other words for love in the Greek language, but this is the most Christlike form of love, and John uses this definition in two similar verses (John 15:13 and 1 John 3:16) at different ends of the New Testament.

So the challenge this week is to find love, find agape. Sunday on Monday host Tammy used her pink highlighter to circle, underline, and draw hearts around all the mentions of love in these epistles, and that’s a great idea. Before you get absorbed by the complexity of Revelation, and before you get swamped by the commitments of the holiday season, take a moment and bask in this simple message: love.

That was my takeaway this week. To hear more takeaways from other Latter-day Saints on this block of scripture, join our study group on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers the book of 1-3 John and Jude, and our podcast guest was Kristen Walker Smith. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday.

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