March 29th, 2023 – Early Wednesday Evening
“By this, love is perfected 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; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” ~1 John 4:17-21
The glorious beauty and reality of the Gospel is summed up in the middle of this section of John’s first letter: “We love, because He first loved us.” Everything else here ties back into this truth; we can’t love without being loved, we must love if we accept love, and we do love because we have come to know God’s love for us. Furthermore, when we know love and exercise love, we gain a confidence before God as love is perfected in us and we, here and now, become like He is.
Are you afraid of God and His judgment? Embrace His love and obediently walk in love. Are you a big ole’ hippo[crit] – claiming to love God but refusing to love your siblings in Christ? Submit yourself to the love of God and humbly love others with the same love you so desperately need and receive from Him. In the same way that knowing and exercising the love of God draws us more and more completely into abiding in Christ (and the produce of that relationship), so rejecting His love (and the exercise of it to others) keeps us from His joy, peace, and security.
We love, because He first loved us. Is this true in your life? Do you know the love of God in Christ? Are you embracing His love and the life of love that comes with it? My beloved brethren, let us draw nearer to Him so that our love will be perfected in His and our lives will reflect Him clearly. There is no better place to be than in the love of God!