Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 30, 2016

Great Chapters in the Bible — I John 4

Day 2408: Finishing I John 4 today!!!

Scripture: I am able to truly love because He first loved me.  If I were to say that I love God but hate a fellow Christ follower, I would be lying, for if I do not love people whom I can see, how can I love God whom I have not seen.  God has given me this command:  If I love God, I must love my fellow Christ followers also!    I John 4:19-21

Thoughts/questions:  There are times for all of us that we would rather live in a world of fantasy, rather than the world of reality.  A dream world or a perfect life could be ours if we had this power, yet if we venture there for a while, reality soon takes over.  God is interested in reality, not lip service or a fantasy religion where we speak of how God loves us and we love Him, but then we have a problem sharing that love here on earth.

His message to us is straightforward:  We are lying to others and ourselves if our love of God does not result in loving others.  The adage ‘it is better to give than to receive’ applies here.  Earlier I John has stated that we ‘can’ love because He first loved us, and now goes further in that we ‘must’ love in response to His love or ???  Yes, we must fill ourselves with God’s love to do this, BUT it cannot stop there – it is far better to GIVE His love to others than to simply RECEIVE God’s love.  Our tendency is to do the opposite, but what we have received in abundance, we must overflow with to those around us!

One of the most meaningful plaques I ever read ended with something like this –  I asked Jesus ‘How much do You love me?’ and Jesus said, ‘This much.’   Then He stretched out His arms and died!  His love towards us is extreme!  Can we do anything less than love our fellow Christ followers also?

Suggested prayer:  Jesus, You love me more than I can comprehend.  Help me to overflow with Your love to all those I encounter . . .

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