God's Love

1 John 4:1-21

1 John 15 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of GOD, GOD lives in him and he is in GOD, And so we know and rely on the love GOD has for us.”

It’s that easy, at least I’ve been told that. Acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of GOD and GOD then lives in you. In fact, all you have to do is believe in Jesus… right. All you have to do is say Jesus is Lord and you are saved.

Saved from what? What does it mean to be saved?

1 John 15 comes after 1 John:7-12 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for LOVE COMES FROM GOD. Everyone who loves has been born of GOD and knows GOD. Whoever does not love does not know GOD, because GOD is love. 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. This is love: not that we loved GOD, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since GOD so loved us, we also ought to love one another, GOD lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” John is saying Jesus is a gift of love from GOD that we might live our lives through Jesus… through love.

Looking at verse 15 again “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of GOD, GOD lives in him and he is in GOD, And so we know and rely on the love GOD has for us.” This is repeated, restated, refined, even made more clear in 16b -18 “GOD is love. Whoever lives in love lives in GOD, and GOD in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 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.

We are saved now, not in the future. We are saved from fear, because GOD is with us NOW. We are saved from guilt, from hatred, from anxiety, from worry, we are saved now. Even if my daughter was attacked by a dog and I am scared and worried for her GOD is pouring his love on us NOW. Even if there are those who hurt us without reason, GOD is pouring his love on us NOW. If you think you are alone in this fear, if you think you are alone in this uncertainty then remember John who wrote these versus we read today. Read Mark 4:40-41 “Jesus said to his disciples. Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? They were terrified and asked each other, Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Even the disciples who walked with Jesus every day and saw the miracles felt worry and fear, but Jesus was with them, love was with them, as Jesus, GOD’s love is with us today.

We are saved by love, the love of GOD, the love made flesh in Jesus, BUT IT IS LOVE. John is telling us that there are two ways to go:
1. Let go of fear and we will learn to love and be loved.
2. Turn to love and our fears will cease to exist.

There is good and evil in this world and evil will try to appeal to us in what appears to be good, just, righteous, even fair ways…or evil may appear to us as something we just don’t understand, but John tells us how to tell good from evil. If it contains love it is good and comes from GOD, but if it isn’t love, it isn’t from GOD.

Today, what is it you are fearing? GOD is with you and in you and through you. Let God have your fears and you have GOD’s compassion, peace, comfort, and love.

Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit, I thank you for your love, your son. I pray for you to help me see you in everything I do, everything I touch. Help me to learn how much you love me more every day! AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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