Day 5 – Fearless Love

1 John 4:17-18 NLT
17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

“He [John] does not say, as we might expect, that we have this boldness and confidence because we look away from ourselves and simply trust in God’s all-powerful, all-conquering love. No. He says that ‘just as he is, so are we within this world’. What does he mean? He means, it seems, that if God revealed himself in the world by turning his love into flesh and blood, when we do the same we should realize that we are ‘completing’ God’s love. What will be operating through us will be the true love of the true God.” (Tom Wright, Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah, For Everyone Bible Study Guides, 158-161.)

The wrong fears are expelled and gone…That’s how wonderful and powerful God’s love is as we love one another…In his perfect love, there is no fear. Even the debilitating fears that perhaps center on self-preservation or self-promotion. This love will displace that – even crippling memories and fears from the past, the rejection and pain of not being loved. In those old places of reluctance and fear, it will be God’s love. And a new/renewed freedom and fearless pursuit of Him and His love happening in and among us (P.Tim).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the proactive love that saved us. Your complete love leaves no room for fear, so may we live in confidence to live like Jesus here in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.

-AW

 

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Day 4 – Abide in Love

1 John 4:15-16 NLT
15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

“At the heart of this passage we find, repeated, a little word which means a whole world to John, as in his gospel it means so much to Jesus himself. ‘Those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them’ (verse 16). This comes in various other places, including the previous verse, but this is its fullest expression. The word is a simple one, meaning ‘dwell’ or ‘remain’ or ‘make one’s home’; but the reality is profound, going to the heart of what Christian faith is all about. This is the meaning of the ‘fellowship’, the sharing of a common life, between the father, the son and all those who belong to the son, who confess ‘that Jesus is God’s son’ (verse 15). It is a mutual indwelling: we in God and God in us.” (Tom Wright, Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah, For Everyone Bible Study Guides, 158-161.)

Prayer: Lord, may we be those who abide in love as we abide in You, and You in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing, “Abide With Me” by Matt Maher (click here).

-AW

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Day 3 – Full Expression

1 John 4:12 NLT
12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

“Now we see the meaning of our present statement in 1 John 4:12: people don’t really know who ‘God’ is—until they see it revealed in the life of Christians. Until, that is, ‘his love is completed in us’. What God launched decisively in Jesus, he wants to complete in and through us. As Jesus unveiled God before a surprised and unready world, so must we. Love is that important. All this can and must come about because of the gift of God’s spirit. The spirit enables us to bear witness to what the father has done in sending the son. Again, the witness must of course come not in word but in deed, as John says in 3:18. Our love must ‘come in the flesh’, just as God’s love did. That’s why, at the end of this passage, John comes back to the same point. If you say you love God, but don’t love your brother or sister (he means a fellow member of the Christian community), you are quite simply telling lies. The same door that opens to let out your love to God is the door that opens to let out love to your neighbour. If you’re not doing the latter, you’re not doing the former. It’s as simple—and as devastating—as that.” (Tom Wright, Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah, For Everyone Bible Study Guides, 158-161.)

Prayer: Lord, may we love each other as you live in us, and your love is brought to full expression in us. By your Spirit, may we love our neighbors, families, and friends. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing, “Fierce” by Jesus Culture (click here).

-AW

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Day 2 – Real Love

1 John 4:8-9 NLT
8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 

“Since God is love, those who encounter him have the power to become loving persons. When verse 8 says ‘God is love’ (cf. v. 16), it is important to note what John is not saying. He is not saying that ‘God is loving’ (though this is true). Nor is he saying that one of God’s activities is ‘to love’ us (though this is true as well). John is saying that God is love, that ‘all of his activity is loving.’  Love is the essence of his being. But the reverse is not the case. We cannot say, in other words, that ‘love is God,’ as if any display of affection suddenly qualifies as divine. John is carefully defining the character of who God is and what it means to live in relation to him. To genuinely contemplate the true identity of God is to become like him. A true apprehension of the personhood of God should lead us to change how we live and behave.” (Gary M. Burge, Letters of John, The NIV Application Commentary, 186-187.)

Prayer: Lord, may we be transformed through and through as we are undone by your real love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing, “How He Loves” by Passion ft. David Crowder (click here).

-AW

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Day 1 – Rule of Love

1 John 4:7-10 NIV
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

“Statistics aren’t everything, but sometimes they are quite revealing. The word ‘love’, or some form of it, occurs no fewer than twenty-seven times in these fifteen verses. No need to ask, then what the subject-matter is here. In fact, we seem to be at the very heart of the letter. This is what John most wants to say. Everything that has gone before leads up to this; everything that follows, in the final chapter, solidifies it and rounds it off. ‘Love’ is what John has on his mind…Love incarnate must be the badge that the Christian community wears, the sign not only of who they are but of who their God is…The rule of love, I say again, is not an optional extra. It is of the very essence of what we are about.” (Tom Wright, Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah, For Everyone Bible Study Guides, 158-161.)

Prayer: God, you are love and we thank you for sending your Son to show us this love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing, “Remembrance” by Hillsong (click here).

-AW

 

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