Psalm 22: 24-30
1 John 4: 7-21
John 15: 1-8
1 John 7:17-19
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us.
John continues to remind us of God’s perfect love for us and that because of God’s self-sacrificing love for us, we should love him and love others. But what is love? We “love” a lot of things today….chocolate, coffee, a favorite tv show, to travel, our new outfit, etc. We even say we love our neighbors, but leave it at that without really understanding what that means. Part of love is sacrifice, passion, commitment, and in God’s love – unconditional. Should we love others yes – but maybe we should be more careful how we use that word.
Also be clear that although God’s love is unconditional, it does not mean our life will be all rainbows and unicorns. God’s holiness still means that sin needs to be punished. But his love of us provided a plan and way of redemption through the cross of Jesus – through the Easter story we just celebrated. No matter how terrible your sin, God’s love is unchangeable – his love on the cross is for you and promises us future with him if we believe in him. Let the Love of God give you peace and joy that can only come through his perfect love – then share that with others.