devotion 5 – 26 – 14

I pray your Memorial Day is blessed!We return today to our study of 1 John – where we left off a couple of weeks ago, before my journey:

1 John 4: 7-12

God Is Love

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Here we have the very essence of the Gospel message – God is love. We know God only when we love – there is none of God in hate and anger, only in love. If we do not love, we cannot know God. Love is active – it is not only feeling, but decision and action. God loved us, enough that he made a decision to come live among us, as the Son, Jesus Christ – remember, that as Trinity, the Son is a part of God, so it is more than sending one of many sons, it was God coming to us in the Son – and he did not just decide to make an appearance; he followed through – he came to us, incarnation(meaning “in the flesh”) is the word. He came to live as one of us, to suffer and die with and for us. That is love. He gave himself for us – and in so doing, he opened the way for us to know God, to know God’s immeasurable love.

And the result of our knowing God’s immeasurable love should always be love for one another. When we love one another, God lives in us – and his love is made perfect in us. When John Wesley spoke about perfection he was not speaking of being self-righteous, or of always following some set of rules; he was speaking of a heart filled with nothing but love. When we say we are moving on to perfection, we are moving on to freeing our hearts of everything except love, filling our hearts to overflowing with God, with love.

Interestingly, God was speaking to my heart about love before I opened this passage this morning. I will share a poem with you:

God is Love

God, what I know of you,

When I have

encountered you,

where you have

changed my life –

has always been,

continues to be –

love.

You loved me –

somehow,

that surprised me

when I knew it,,

sensed it,

felt it.

But it was love,

no doubt

about it.

Your love –

still envelops me,

sustains me,

calls me.

You call me

to love –

to let others

know your love –

not to judge

or guard the gates –

but to love,

to teach love,

just love.

(Joyce Alexander 5-26-14)

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