“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us…There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
1 John 4:17-19
Wow! In the above Scripture, the Apostle John uses the word “love” twelve times. In just three verses! Not only was it repeated numerous times but verse 17 begins with the pivotal statement: “God IS love.”
Based on that foundational truth…God IS love…His love grows up in us and flows out of us onto others. After all, God (the Holy Spirit) needs to live inside of us for His love to spill out. But for that to happen, we must choose to live in His love. Oh, God will always remain the source of love, it’s just if we choose to walk in it.
And as we walk in love, our roots grow deeper, helping to mature us in His love. We notice it takes much longer for us to become rattled by an unplanned circumstance, especially if that situation evokes fear…perhaps fear of death or fear of judgement. Those fears used to cripple us, but not any more, as “well-formed love banishes fear.”
When fear cannot easily up-end us, we are then able to allow His love to well up in us and overflow onto those in our path. And we notice as His love is working in us, we are able to love others AS HE LOVES US! That’s victory. We love as He first loved us! He gave His life for us! That’s a well-matured, God IS LOVE…love.
So, to summarize 1st John 4:17-19
1. God IS love.
2. We choose to live in His love.
3. Love matures in us.
4. Our fully-formed love conquers fear.
5. We continue to choose to live in His love.
6. We are able to love others as He loves us.
7. Why? Because He loves us first.
We can love as He loves because He first loved us!
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FROM THE COMMUNUTY
Yesterday my mom fell again walking outdoors at her apartment…She is okay & was released from hospital after a few hours. On the drive to West Bend after we got the call…I found complete peace just loving my God & knowing He was in control of the situation no matter what it was. And then reading your devotion today made my heart cry out with a love for Him that can’t be put into words.Thank you & thank you & thank you for listening & obeying the Lord.
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