Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
1 John 4:7-21 (NIV)
God’s Love and Ours
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. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 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.
1 John 1:5 (NIV)
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all.
How does the message that God’s love drives out fear relate to the teaching of God’s life (1:5)?
Lord, the world today seems to be absent of love. There is so much hatred, anger, and power struggles that it breeds division and fear. But love is the opposite of fear. Lord, You Are Love. You love all people unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually. You sent Your Son as a sacrifice for sin to release all who accept You as Lord from condemnation and death. You did that while we were sinners. You did that while I was still a sinner. Something I totally did not deserve. Lord, help me to pray for those who make me angry, who create fear in my heart. Allow me to love them through You. The more I choose to pray for those who I struggle with, the more fear disappears. Help me to live a life of love and faithfulness. Lord help me to stand firm, overcome my fears, resist evil and take action to love. Amen