Verse: 1 John 4:17-18
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. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
If you, like me, worry that you aren’t doing a good enough job, these verses may, at first, feel like a lot of pressure. The first half anyway:
Love is made complete in us
We can have confidence on the day of judgement
In this world we are like Jesus
Also the use of the word “perfect”
We have a lot of completion and perfection and being like Jesus to do! BUT… let’s not forget about the verses that come before! Candice spoke about how we can practically love people. Christian reminded us that God has gone “all in” for us. The verses in this chapter flow with one another to create a much larger picture.
John tells us that we can love because Jesus loved us first. He made it possible. So we already are made aware that we can’t do it ourselves. He has given us His Spirit. John promises that we can rely on the love that God has for us. We can lean into it, push on it, use it as our foundation – it will not let us down! When we do this, we can then love out of that endless source.
We are invited to lean into the riches of God’s love for us, to dip in, fill up, and then we are asked to pour it out. We have an opportunity to bring completion to this spectacular and reckless love. Jesus is trusting us with his mission of love. We are to go out, love the people around us, and put His stamp on it. We are equipped by his love, but also, we are not to be afraid. Because our performance doesn’t have to be flawless, it just has to be out of the overflow of His love. And when we practice this, we get better at it, more “complete”. We are not alone, and we are loved.
Jesus, thank you for your ever reliable love! We need your help to be your hands and feet in this world. Teach us to lean in to your love for us and be filled to overflowing. We want to be a part of bringing your kingdom here in this world. Amen.
Author: Emily Costa