God is Love
1 John 4:16-19 (NRSV) 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.
In today’s scripture, the apostle John is writing to believers. He reminds them that God is love, and if we are truly believers then God’s love has been perfected in us. I love this verse, because for those of us who are seeking holiness, we are told that although we will never reach perfection while on this earth, God’s love is being perfected in us. God’s love abiding in us is what holiness is all about!
The word abide means to dwell, to live among, to be continuous. In other words, abiding with God is not a temporary situation. Instead, the love that grows within us is the result of an ongoing relationship with God. There is no need for fear, because perfect love casts out fear.
There are many situations in our world today that can cause fear. Hurricane Michael hit the coast of Florida just this past week, and those who feared what a Category 4 hurricane can do moved out of the path of the storm. In this case, fear was not only justified but it resulted in prudence.
The fear of which John spoke is something that permeates our being and drives every decision we make. If we are living (abiding) in that type of fear, then we are not living (abiding) in love because there is no room for both.
Father God, may today and everyday draw us closer to You, so that we may be made complete in Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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