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Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing devotions pulled from my study What is Love? based on 1 John 4.
To download a 14-day Bible study to accompany these devotions, click here.
If you want to read this series from the beginning, click here.

 

Who struggles with fear? Shame? Feeling incapable or not good enough? If you fight any of these debilitating problems (and we all do at some point), today is for you. quote Strange

Love Made Complete

And if God has promised to stay present with, help and uphold those who trust in Him, do we have any real reason to fear? ~John Strange, American pastor and author

Let’s go back to John’s words, starting in 1 John 4:16.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us.

Remember our upward spiral of knowledge, faith, and trust from last week? If you missed it or need a refresher, click here.

When we make the choice to proceed up that spiral, when we choose to grow in knowledge and faith and trust, we allow God to live in us. When we allow God to live in us, our love is made complete.

This also points us back to our discussion from the first week. [Click here to read that devotion.] When we choose God, nothing else is required of us. God completes everything, which means we therefore have no fear when we face our eternal judgment.

Day of judgment.

Now, notice the next part: This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.

Because this part is easy to misunderstand, we need a quick grammar lesson. After John writes day of judgment, he put a colon. That means that the final phrase (in this world we are like Jesus) is a clarification of what came before the colon.

So, John was not saying that in this world we are perfect like Jesus was perfect in this world. He was saying that when we abide in God’s love and He lives in us, today, in this very moment, we can boldly walk with the same confidence Jesus had that love is made complete.

Love made complete is the basis of our relationship.

We have a relationship with the final judge, and our basis of judgment is made on love, just like Jesus.

quote JacksonThink of it this way. Bring to mind someone you deeply love and trust. Now, imagine they said something that hurt your feelings—if they apologize and are repentant, you forgive and the relationship moves forward. Right?

Now, think of a person you barely know or just met. If they said the exact same thing that offends you deeply, what would you do? Cut them off? Avoid them? Strike back?

That’s the difference in the relationship between God and Christians, and God and everyone else.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them. ~Mahalia Jackson, American gospel singer

When we trust God, growing in knowledge of and faith in Him, His love is made complete in us, which both forms and informs everything in the relationship between us. We can walk boldly, securely, in His love just as Jesus did when He walked on this earth 2,000 years ago.

 

READ MORE

Enjoying this series? You can purchase the study that includes discussion questions to make this all very personal and help you grow in love. It’s downloadable, so print only the pages you want. And it’s only $2!

What Is Love? Bible Study

What is love? We can give examples of love and talk about being in love, but what exactly is it? Do we have a defining moment, an ideal expression to live up to or look for? The apostle John goes deep into love in 1 John chapter 4, telling us exactly what love is.

This 14-day study includes questions to help you define what you think love is and what God may want you to do or change. Download is printable and formatted for half sheets of standard paper (5.5″ x 8.5″).

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