If we could let go of our own feelings long enough to feel the love God has for others, it would transform us!
5 Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
IF He has asked us to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, THEN we must take Him at His word that Jesus IS God’s Son.
IF Jesus came to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10), THEN we must accept that all of humanity has value: HIS value, the value He placed on us by dying for us.
IF Jesus died for all people, THEN we must love them as He loves them.
There are several truths in our passage for today of 1 John 4:7-21.
- God is love (v.8).
- Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (v.10).
- God lives in us (v.12).
- He has given us of His Spirit (v.13).
- In this world we are like Jesus (v.17) because we have compassion on the lost (Matthew 9:36).
- We love because He first loved us (v.19); remember that we are like Jesus.
- Anyone who loves God loves their brother and sister (v.21) not just in words or speech, but with actions and in truth (3:18).
We have the promise in 4:13 that He will give us of His Spirit so that we can rely on His love for us (verse 16a) to receive all that we need in order to accomplish His will, which is for us to love one another:
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
We know that we are God’s children because we love like Him. It is this love and compassion that verifies that we belong to Him. John makes this very point:
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
This is how God showed His love to us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Jesus as we approach God in confidence, knowing that God hears us when we pray according to His will, which is for us to believe that He is God, that God is love, and that He wants the best for all mankind, but loves us enough to give us the choice of believing Him enough to trust Him and obey Him or not.
It’s a one-time choice of trust unto salvation, and a daily choice of obedience unto fellowship with Him.
John knew what he was talking about because he walked with Jesus three years in the flesh and then for many years with Him in his heart. If we want God and His love to consume us, then we can’t hold anything back that would keep Him from filling every nook and cranny of our hearts. Let’s give our all to God through Jesus with the help of the Spirit everyday!
Abba, I struggle with areas of my life, but my heart I give to You each day–sometimes several times a day. I keep fixing my eyes on You, only to tear them away to look at things in this world. May I learn to see this world through my peripheral vision and to keep You as the center of my attention. May I see people through Your eyes with the compassion You feel toward them. Make me like You, LORD. That’s my prayer today (and everyday). Amen.