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.
His love is made complete in us. His love is perfected in us.
John has repeated these statements (depending on the translation) 3 times, in v 12, v 17 and v 18b.
I notice that each time this is accompanied by a transformation in the Christian.
In verse 12 we are transformed to loving one another
In v 17 we are made bold for the day of judgment
In v 18b we have no fear of death
God’s love changes us, our attitudes to others, to the future, and gives us a new perspective. Only God’s love can bring this about because he always loves us and he has shown himself by sending Jesus (v14). This was how he “first loved us”, having Jesus die in our place. God’s love was incredibly costly.
When we take on love and live in love, we live the way he designed us (v16). I can tell this is true because of the way my spirit is lifted, tuned into Him, when I show love to someone else. That’s not to say it is always easy or without cost, maybe my love is not appreciated or even noticed. God loved me first, even though I was his enemy, when I was ignoring him. That was when he gave Jesus to save me. I love and believe in that salvation and I am changed. His love is complete in me.
Dear Lord. You are the essence of love, a love that is selfless, eternal, without conditions. I know my future is secure in you. Remain in me by your Holy Spirit, as I show your love this week. It could never cost as much as the price you paid.
Written by Claire Moore