Archive for March 15th, 2011

1 John 4

1 John 4 is all about love.  John tells us a number of things about God and our relationship with Him, but it is really the character of God’s love for us that is core to His lessons here.  He begins by reminding us that we can tell what truly is of God because they will confess “that Jesus Christ has come”.  It is a characteristic of one who is truly of God – they focus on Jesus.  We are reminded that we are overcomers – John tells us “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.  Do you live like that?  As a victor and one who belongs to the greatest power in the universe.  As a Christ Follower’s have access to the One whom is the ultimate power in our world.  Jesus is the top of the heap – king of the mountain – there is none who has more power.  Yet sometimes we act like we are defeated.  We allow circumstances to overwhelm us.  It doesn’t mean life will be easy – but if we plug in – we will not be short of power!

The next thing John reminds us is that we identify ourselves by how we respond to God’s truth.  Either we are listening and living according to it – or we are ignoring an going our own way.  “Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error”.  There is only one source of truth in our world.  It is God’s Word.  It is what He has written and we need to listen and live by it.  Often we act like kids – we respond to God’s Word by sticking our fingers in our ears and humming loudly – that is what the reality is when we don’t read and study His truth.  God has given us His Word – it is up to us to take it in.  Are you listening.  “God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him…..He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”.  God has given us His Word and His Son.  We need to get focused on both.  Jesus came to give us life and to free us from sin.  God’s Word was given to show us how to live.  We need to cling tightly to both!

John tells us over and over the power and the need for love.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”.  Those are the words to a great little worship song – but here is the reality – we are to LOVE.  It is the mark of one who knows God.  It is what we are called to do.  “We also ought to love one another….if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us”.  Remember the words to that old hymn “they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love”?  That is what John is telling us here.  Love is the way we know that God is alive in us.  We can’t be in relationship with Him without love flowing in us and through us.  Why?

Because “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him…. he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen….whoever loves God must also love his brother”.  Do you wonder where you are in your walk with Jesus?  Just answer this question – do you love your brother?  If you don’t then you can’t truly love God.  Love is to be our way of life.  It is to be the thing that marks us as His.  It is scary for many, but John addresses that as well.  Here is the reality, “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us”.  Often people are afraid to love.  It is a lot of work, costs much of us personally, and takes time and effort.  But if we are truly His, we can’t run from love.  We have to live love.  We have to be love.  That is what God is.  And His love overcomes fear.  His love overcomes every objection and is the ultimate power in life.  Are you experiencing God’s love at work in your life?  Is that who you are?

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