1 John 4:7-21
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.
In the midst of mass shootings, political division, and natural disasters, we may find ourselves asking, “Where is God?” In our own messy and broken lives, we may wonder if God even cares about us. The truth is, God is right where you need him to be. God is here, with you, with me, right now. I know that concept is sometimes hard to wrap our brains around, but it is true. And the reality is - you don’t have to understand it, you only have to believe it, have faith and live as if God is with you.
Sometimes we kill our faith by trying to understand everything about God. For God to be God, he is partly unknowable. Any language, understanding, or precepts we use to describe God are inadequate. God is beyond our complete understanding, though we can learn quite a bit about the nature of God through our sacred text (the Bible), the wisdom of our Christian history and tradition, and our own reason and experience. But for today, if you sometimes struggle to believe God is with you, how about we suspend that struggle, and live as if God is right beside you every moment of this day. What does that belief mean for your life? Does it change your actions? Does it lead you to new prayers? Does it provide you with comfort, or a sense of peace?
Live into the idea of God being near to you today and this week. May God make you aware of his presence in new and profound ways.
God, I sometimes struggle to believe you are with me. Forgive me for not noticing your presence. Please help me become more aware of the way you are working with me and for me. Show me the big and small ways you are guiding me, calling me, and providing for me. Give me the courage to proclaim your presence and live in gratitude for your constant grace. Thank you, Lord. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.