This Is Love
Thank You, God, for loving me. Live in me today. May Your love be complete in me.
Read 1 John 4:7–21
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHow would you rate your “love” capacity for other people? Be honest with God. If you feel “compassion fatigue,” tell him.
Christians, John says, should reflect God’s kind of love. So what sort of love is it? It is not proud or self-seeking. Even though the attitudes and actions of sinners are offensive to God (10) he does not reject us. Through Jesus, God moved toward sinners, giving what was most precious to him to deal with the offense (9,10). His love shows humility and generosity to the point of self-sacrifice (9).
We only know that God loves like this because he came, in Jesus, to show us. Now Christians are to be God’s conduit for showing his love to the world (12,17). Do I hold onto grievances or do I swallow my pride and take the first move toward reconciliation?
We are not to beat ourselves up if we fall short, as God’s love has already set us free from judgment (17,18). Instead we are to turn to God in every situation (live in him) to give us what we need to love others the way he would (16).
Ask yourself if your actions and words reflect God’s kind of love or if you are quick to take offense.
Where I lack love, Lord, fill me with Your Spirit that I may see as You see and act as You would act.