1, 2, &3 John – God and Love
We had the run of Grandpa and Grandma Lacquement’s 160 acres in rural Oklahoma. Growing up we spent every school holiday we could there, the cousins and I, roaming around outside. We only came in to eat and to sleep. Grandpa was fine with that and loved the fact that we were enjoying his land, the ponds to fish, the persimmons to fling, the horses to ride, the “rocking tree” that my oldest cousin Joe would bend down to send us flying, along with the birds, frogs and other creatures to enjoy. We had no fear of wondering around because we knew Grandpa and Grandma were not to far away and seemed to always know where we were. We knew were loved above all, with a love that is hard to match these days…unconditional love. This “fully formed” kind of love drives out all fear from harm or reprisal. This kind of love is mutual respect for the other. This love exudes trust. This is God’s kind of love. God is love.
1 John 4, The Message
To Love, to Be Loved
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
What do we learn?
–God is Love.
–God’s Love demands that we love each other in the same way He loves us.
–God loved us first, showed us how to love through His Son.
–We have to love God AND others.
–Love God. Love Others. Revolutionary.
–To love and to be loved, in a “well formed” mature way drives out all fear. Fear is crippling until we get this right.
Dear Heavenly Father, YOU are love. You are God and we are not. But we will spend all of lives here until Your love in us is fully formed and we love more and more like you love us. May we love each other better because of this love forming and being perfected in us. Help us always to remember that when we get this right, fear banishes. Worry subsides. To love You back and then love others like you love us sets us free. Thank you, Lord, for this reminder and yet another flashback from childhood.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.