Meditation: Trust, Dependence, Humility, and Love (1 John 4:7-19)
My thoughts have been captured by some of the incredible claims and promises shared by the apostle John. I have been reading the First Epistle of the Apostle John since late last week and have been so encouraged (and challenged) by the words in this letter; however, this particular passage of text from the last couple days has really gripped my heart and my attention. Read along with me from 1 John 4:7-19 NLT
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 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. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 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. 13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess 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. 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. (1 John 4:7-19)
Note the portions I have bolded in the above passage… here are the points I see “jumping” out at me:
1. God lives in us (vs. 12)
2. His love is brought to full expression in us (vs.12)
3. God has given us His Spirit (vs.13)
4. We live in Him and He in us (vs.13)
5. God lives in (them), they live in God (vs.15)
6. Live in God, and God lives in them (vs.16)
7. As we live in God, our love grows more perfect (vs.17)
8. Perfect love expels all fear (vs.18)
9. If we are afraid…it shows we have not fully experienced His perfect love (vs.18)
10. We love because He loved us first (vs.19)
I think there is an undeniable theme flowing through these verses. The Creator of all things lives within His most prized creation, us… You. and. Me. God lives in you and God lives in me. And, we live in Him. Now, this is exciting and incredible news aaaaaaaaannnnnd most of us will acknowledge (with head knowledge) knowing this. The problem that we have with this information is our failure to acknowledge it with the way we live our daily lives. I think the bigger problem is found in point number nine… maybe we haven’t fully experienced His perfect love. If we have not, it is because we have not fully embraced Him taking full control of our lives. We allow Him full control when we acknowledge our real and full trust in Him. This is the key to experiencing His perfect love. Once we cross over into this level of relationship, we begin to live the full on life of God in us and us in Him. So, are you experiencing this? I am and that’s not an arrogant statement… it’s based on the passage that we just read. Awesome stuff; isn’t it?
For further reading, try this exposition on LOVE: What’s Love Got to do With It?
Psalm 38:9-10, 13-15, 21-22
You know what I long for, LORD; you hear my every sigh. My heart beats wildly, my strength fails. I am silent… I make no reply… For I am waiting on you, O LORD. You must answer for me, O LORD my God. Do not abandon me, O LORD. Do not stand at a distance, my God. Come quickly to help me, O LORD my Savior.
Yesterday I was crucified with Christ;
Today I am glorified with Him.
Yesterday I was dead with Christ;
Today I am sharing in His resurrection.
Yesterday I was buried with Him;
Today I am walking with Him from the sleep of death.
Gregory of Nazianzus; My Resurrection