May 30 | Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 10-12; John 11:30-57
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
READ 1 JOHN 4:7Ė12
For years I wore a shield of fear to protect my heart. It became an excuse to avoid trying new things, following my dreams, and obeying God. But fear of loss, heartache, and rejection hindered me from developing loving relationships with God and others. Fear made me an insecure, anxious, and jealous wife, and an overprotective, worrying mother. As I continue learning how much God loves me, however, Heís changing the way I relate to Him and to others. Because I know God will care for me, I feel more secure and willing to place the needs of others before mine.
God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Christís death on the crossóthe ultimate demonstration of loveódisplays the depth of His passion for us (vv. 9-10). Because God loves us and lives in us, we can love others based on who He is and what Heís done (vv. 11-12).
When we receive Jesus as our Savior, He gives us His Holy Spirit (vv. 13-15). As the Spirit helps us know and rely on Godís love, He makes us more like Jesus (vv. 16-17). Growing in trust and faith can gradually eliminate fear, simply because we know without a doubt that God loves us deeply and completely (vv. 18-19).
As we experience Godís personal and unconditional love for us, we grow and can risk relating to Him and others with fearless love.
By Xochitl Dixon
REFLECT & PRAY
Lord, thank You for pouring limitless love into us so we can love You and others without fear.
What fears are found in your heart? As you ponder Godís great love for you, how does this help alleviate them?
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The New Testament uses four different words for love: phileo, storge, eros, and agape. Agape is the only word for love used in 1 John 4:7-12, and itís used thirteen times. This is surprising since there are two subjects doing the loving: humans and God.
This means that John is telling us to love God and each other with the same kind of love with which God loves us. Agape love is born out of our hearts because of the preciousness of the thing thatís loved. It has the idea of prizing something and has nothing to do with the merit of the object being loved. J.R. Hudberg
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