Wednesday 11 March, 2015
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.
I want to face God, on Judgement Day, with complete confidence. What a great goal. What a great motivator for daily priorities and choices.
But there’s a problem. Verse 17 says…
“…we can face Him with confidence BECAUSE we live like Jesus here in this world.”
I feel like saying “John, that’s too broad, man. I need specifics. Exactly what did Jesus do that I’m to emulate? Obviously, I need to rid my life of sin. But what else?”
Fortunately, John pre-empted my question in the rest of the passage (thanks John). Jesus loved people. All people. Beginning with the Church. What am I doing daily to love my Brothers and Sisters in Christ? Am I actively seeking opportunities to bless, encourage, provide practical help or a listening ear? Am I praying for them daily? Jesus did.
Thank you Jesus for this perfect example of how to live. Please help me do the same. Amen
Written by Boudy VanNoppen
There is a condition in psychology called ‘Performance Orientation’. It is the unshakable anxiety in some people that drives them to believe that unless they perform to a certain level they cannot be loved. Performance orientation in Christians is for the most part unhealthy and interferes with their relationship with God and people.
There is one verse in this passage (v19) that can kill performance orientation dead.
The verse clearly states that before we have had a chance to earn God’s love, he loved us first.
If every Christian was made to recite that scripture 20 times every morning before they get out of bed we would never have a problem loving other people.