This is Love!

Read: 1 John 4:7-21

The word “love” gets used in many different ways, but 1 John 4 has what we might call the “root word” of love. Verse 10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

John goes on to say that it is this love that inspires, encourages, and empowers us to love others in the same way. I think we would all agree that there are times in our lives when it is not so easy to love others. They wrong us, they gossip about us, and they do numerous other things that are far from what we might consider love.

When we face those times, we need to stop and think about what God has done for us. There are times that we are disobedient toward God, there are times we sin and times in which we choose other things over the things of Christ. And yet, this passage reminds us that God’s love in and through Jesus Christ is grace filled and forgiving to us.

Why do we love? Because God first loved us and showed us the recipe, the pattern, the road, to loving others in the way that he loves us, forgives us, and restores us. Verse 20 says it very clearly, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates his brother or sister is a liar.”

Let’s focus on God’s love for us today through Jesus Christ. Let’s allow that focus to be the pattern of how we treat others and life in general. Perfect love drives out all fear, and much more than that. This is true love, let’s live it!

Make it personal: Try to think of someone that has been hard to love recently. Think about this passage and the way that Christ has shown you love. Take time to pray to Christ and ask him to help you love this other person in the same way that he loves you. If everyone practiced this we would live in a much better world!

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minster of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church