January 19, 2022

1 John 4:7-21 (HCSB)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way:  God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.  12 No one has ever seen God.   If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit.  14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses   that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world.  18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.  So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.  19 We love because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.  21 And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.

Jason Ricciardi - Love is a crazy word.  I mean…I love a good fish taco.  I love my 1993 Ford Ranger (that took me FOREVER to fix because I am NOT a mechanic).  Shoot, I even love my big ‘ole furry dog (unless he wants out at midnight).  I also love my wife.  Those are NOT the same loves. John is going crazy with ‘love’ here!  I mean he uses a form of it 1000x!! (ok, fine – 28).  Since John is so serious, we should probably figure out what he’s saying.  John is NOT saying my truck is as lovable as my wife.  I’d be willing to die for her…my truck?  That’s dumb.  What makes her different?  She’s made in God’s image and loving her makes me more like Jesus.  If I can’t love her, I might not know Him as well as I think.   Even more, this love extends beyond the lovable.  It extends to the UN-lovable…. Your boss, that annoying coworker, the teacher that has it out for you, that family member that pushes your buttons…. This love is sacrificial – like that time Jesus died for you…

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