1 John 4:7-21

1 John 4:7-21 … Love is the predominant focus in the balance of 1 John 4. As we’ll see, it should be the dominant characteristic of those who are in Christ. I’m struck as I read this familiar and profound passage how evident love should be in the lives of Christians. Yet so often, we encounter fellowship groups or assemblies, where person-to-person interaction borders on indifference. Love ought to radiate from us so that the love of God can be visibly spread in every group. 1 John 4:10-11 is a great memory verse to internalize the motivation for love, which is God’s sacrificial love in our behalf, to purge our sins and make us acceptable in His sight. The indwelling Spirit of God enables His love to be seen in us (v.12), all the more reason to display His love openly, reaching out to others, embracing others and selflessly helping in every way possible. Love is part of His abiding with us (v.16) and the exercise of His love is just one means by which God gives us confidence and assurance of our eternal destiny with Him (v17-18). The warning of verse 20 should be sobering to all. Whether we apply the expression to a sibling (sibling conflicts are legendary) or to our fellow man (I think both are intended), hatred or dislike of others is a warning flag that warrants immediate attention. The words of Jesus in Mark 11:25 tell us that if we have “anything against anyone,” we should immediately seek forgiveness and reconciliation, replacing animosity with love. Might we resolve to make every encounter with our fellow man a remarkable expression of evident love. It’s a spiritual exercise that will benefit everyone!

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