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Archive for October 14th, 2009

1 John 4:7-21

 

“Dear friends, let us love one another.”

 

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

 

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

 

If we had to single out one aspect of John’s writings it would almost have to be about ‘love’.  Being convinced of the love God had for him –referring to himself as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ – in his writings, he does his best to convince us that God loves us.  He was struck by the fact that love was “not that we loved God, but that he loved us”. 

 

Beginning with John 3:16, he penned the most familiar words in the entire Bible, “For God so loved the world”.  Similarly and ironically in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is”.  And then he turns to us.  In 1 John 4:11, “Since God so loved us” – from his perspective of how this love has impacted his life – he now appeals to us; “We also ought to love one another”.

 

What do we crave more than anything?  I referred to this in ‘Better Now in the Turns’.  More than anything, at least it is true of myself, we crave affirmation or love.  When that is what we are most focused on, there is fear that we will not get it.  In a sense it is like punishment when we don’t receive it. 

 

But turn it around.  When we are more focused on loving – giving the affirmation and love – meeting the need for others that we have for ourselves – fear is driven out.  It changes everything.  Do you want God to love you?  Try loving God.  Do you want people to love you?  Try loving people.  When we get our focus off ourselves and on others, somehow then we will be ‘made perfect in love’.

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