The Powerful Principle of Displacement.


daily text logoApril 27, 2015

1 John 3:11

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.



If First John can be said to be about anything, it can be said to be about first things.

That which was from the beginning. . .  1 John 1:1

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. 1 John 2:7

As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. . . 1 John 2:24

For this is the message you heard from the beginning:

Light or darkness, God or Satan, love or hate. John has to be one of the most straightforward teachers of the New Testament. He does it in the same way that all great leaders do it, through drawing contrast. It’s “This” not “That.”

We gain our understanding of darkness in the light of Light; of Satan by the Presence of God; of hate through the movement of love. In the process we learn perhaps the most important lesson of all: The principle of displacement. This is not a fair fight. These are not well matched opponents. Light need only show up– darkness disappears. God need only come on the scene–Satan flees. In the same way light displaces darkness and God displaces Satan, love displaces sin.

We should love one another.

I’ve said it here before. I’ll say it again. Love is not “soft.” Love is the most hard-core power in the universe. Love is not the mushy sentiment it’s made out to be, nor is it the passionate feeling we so often want it to be. Love is the Jesus-inspired, Holy Spirit-fueled, will-of-God-powered way of life that always puts others before ourselves. Love creates life. Love overcomes the impossible. Signs and wonders are merely the tipping point of Divine Love in the midst of human community.  Love is not a truce that gets passed off as peace. Love is not some dysfunctional compromise that gets passed off as unity.

I will go so far as to say that Love is the only creative power in the world. Every other so-called power is a counterfeit power claiming rogue authority and its ultimate contribution to the world is not creativity but more chaos. In the end, Love will be the blinding merciful light of the pierced and piercing justice of God in whose presence anything less simply cannot remain. It’s why in the end we must be made like him else we be made nothing.

Love is the preexistent reality of Father-Son-Holy Spirit. Love was the preeminent reality in the Creation of all that is. Love was the first thing and love will be the last thing and in the end it will be the only thing. Love is the Glory of God.

We should love one another.

Jesus could not have been more clear. He said people would know we were his followers by the way we loved one another.

The task we have is that of getting crystal clear clarity about the meaning of this term that has been bandied about so much that it means nothing anymore. That’s where John is headed. Hold on!

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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