February 14, 2017
Read: 1 John 4:9–16
Bible in a Year: Leviticus 15–16; Matthew 27:1–26
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.—1 John 4:9
When a series of pink “I love you” signs mysteriously appeared in the town of Welland, Ontario, local reporter Maryanne Firth decided to investigate. Her sleuthing turned up nothing. Weeks later, new signs appeared featuring the name of a local park along with a date and time.
Accompanied by a crowd of curious townspeople, Firth went to the park at the appointed time. There, she met a man wearing a suit who had cleverly concealed his face. Imagine her surprise when he handed her a bouquet and proposed marriage! The mystery man was Ryan St. Denis—her boyfriend. She happily accepted.
St. Denis’s expression of love toward his fiancé may seem a bit over-the-top, but God’s expression of love for us is nothing short of extravagant! “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” (1 John 4:9).
Jesus is not merely a token of love, like a rose passed from one person to another. He is the divine human who willingly gave up His life so that anyone who believes in Him for salvation can have an everlasting covenant relationship with God. Nothing can separate a Christian “from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Dear God, thank You for showing me, in the greatest way possible, that You love me. Help my life to demonstrate my love for You.
We know how much God loves us because He sent His Son to save us.
INSIGHT: In today’s reading the word for love is the Greek noun agape, which speaks of the highest form of love imaginable, a love that seeks the welfare of the other even at great personal cost. John reminds us that the ultimate evidence of God’s love for us is seen in the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf (1 John 4:9). John then says that our response to God’s love should be our self-sacrificing love for one another as fellow Christ-followers (v. 11). His application of God’s love concludes with a reminder that our ability to love one another is dependent upon His love being revealed and “made complete in us” (v. 12). Our expression of the Father’s love for us in our relationships will be a result of what the Holy Spirit is producing in our hearts. To learn more about the love of God, take a look at the Discovery Series booklet God Is Love: Reflections on the Character of God at discoveryseries.org/q0612. Bill Crowder
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