Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1 John 4:13-21

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 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.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Questions to consider:
  • What are the two basic tests to assess whether God abides in your life?
  • List the effects of love in a person’s life. What is the source of this love?
  • What is the source of confidence here? What is the context here?
  • Why are loving God and hating your brother incompatible here?
Possibilities for prayer:

There is no fear in love...perfect love drives out fear

Many of us have likely seen or heard this verse before. But we may not have taken the time to consider the importance of such a statement. At many times in our lives, we will likely encounter situations that are frightening, and the temptation to succumb to fear will be present. But the love of God is able to overcome that fear, if only we’ll let it! Today, let’s ask for an understanding of what this “perfect love” is and for the faith and trust in its ability to drive out fear.