Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. 1 John 4:7-5:4
John and his brother James were called the Sons of Thunder in the Gospels, because they wanted to call down thunder from heaven on at least village that rejected Jesus. These two men were also part of Jesus’ inner circle, along with a third, Peter. However, as you read John’s Gospel and John’s later letters you will notice that something has changed about this man who was once called a Son of Thunder for wanting destroy those who rejected the message he and his fellow disciples were bringing. So what changed? The change occurred on the day of Pentecost when John, along with all those in the upper room were baptized in the Holy Spirit. And as a result of this the Fruit of the Spirit began to grow in them. And one of the Fruits of the Spirit is love and it is that fruit for which John would now become famous, because now John is no longer known as the Son of Thunder but as the apostle of love.
Although love is an aspect of the Holy Spirit’s fruit and evidence of the life transformation that comes with spiritual salvation, it is also something that we are responsible to develop. For this reason, John expects us to love others and to show love with practical action that seeks to benefit others, remember this is how Jesus demonstrated love. When John is talking about love he is not just talking about feelings of concern, but deliberate choices to help people with their needs. In other words, the love John is talking about is not based on pure emotion and is, therefore, able to change at a moments notice, but rather the love John is talking is based on a conscious choice that is made with the rational part of your mind. The love John is talking and the love that we find throughout the Bible is a love based on a choice to love someone despite what our feelings toward them might be. And we are to show this kind of love for three reasons.
- Love is the very nature of God, which he showed by giving his own Son for us. We share his nature because we are born of him.
- Because God loved us, we who have experienced his love, forgiveness and help are obligated to help others, even at great personal cost.
- If we love one another, God continues to live in us and his love is made complete in us.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Jeremiah 37-38, 1 Timothy 6, Psalm 89:38-52 and Proverbs 25:28
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