Chapter 4

No One Like Him - God is Love
Sun, Jun 28, 2020
we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also 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 been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:16-21 (ESV) If there is one attribute of God that people know and generally are comfortable with it is that God is Love. When most people conceive of a god, they make him as a benevolent deity. It is one of the three things that scripture directly and specifically says that God is. (Spirit (Jn 4:24) & Light (1 Jn 1:5) are the other two). That should make this week easy, warm, and non-controversial. Right? Well, not exactly. The problem we encounter is just like other attributes we want to make God like us. We want to think of His love in very human terms or we want to make His love the overarching, predominate attribute. Most of us conceive of God's love as first and primarily directed toward us. When we do we will shrink Him and His love into a creature-sized package. This week we continue in our series - No One Like You - to talk about God's Love. What we find in the scripture is surpising and encompassing. It will confront (and empower) us. I want to encourage you to take some time to read through 1 John 4 and consider God's Love.
Sun, Dec 23, 2018
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - 1 John 4:10–11 (ESV) What part of Christmas celebrations are you most looking forward to? Receiving presents? Giving presents? Spending time with family and friends? We all desire to be loved, especially around Christmas time, but we want that love expressed in different ways for it to seem meaningful to us. Some people call this your 'love language'. Built into Advent is true love. It is love that has been expressed. It has been given not just to those who 'deserve' it or to those who will return it, but has been given to rebels in their rebellion. It's a love that is grander than we can imagine. This Sunday we want to look at this love. Take a few minutes to read John, the 'Apostle of Love', writing to his 'little children' in 1 John 4. It's a simple but important passage not only to display this love, but draw us toward living it out to those around us.
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