Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Love & Devotion (3 of 21)

1 John 4:16-18 (New Living Translation) "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love."

The goal of anyone that seeks to become Christ-like, is to move beyond an intellectual assent of Jesus (knowing about him mentally) into an experiential engagement with his authority (knowing him emotionally and personally). This passage speaks to the difference between the two. Ironically, many of us who claim to be followers of Jesus, lose sight of who Jesus is to us at the sign of trouble. I want to spend these few moments reminding you that there are some things that you should know and not forget about YOUR God.

You should know without any reservation, that God loves you immeasurably! That's a simple statement with significant implications. God's love is worthy of your trust. I know that your heart has been broken and you have a problem trusting people and their declarations. But you can trust God's love! It's sure (solid foundation), it's safe (gives you eternal security) and it's strong (it holds you, you don't hold it)!

Also, you should know that God is love. My father in the ministry (Pastor David Lattimore in Jacksonville, FL) used to say "If you don't love me, don't die". Jesus told us in John 13:35 that "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Here's my point, If you're a Jesus follower, then love is in you, because God is love. The radical nature of this God love is that it's alive. It goes, it gives and it grows. Believers' love should not be stale or stagnant but ever striving toward modeling Jesus.

I think you ought to know, that once you've experienced God's for real, that it ain't ever scared (I know, I just did 'dat...lol)! God's love casts out all fear. What doe's love (God) have to be afraid of? Certainly not punishment; God can't punish himself! That's why having him living on the inside of us and exemplifying his attributes are important. On judgment day, we won't have a problem if we 'live like Jesus here in this world'.

There's a story about a Sunday school teacher, that was closing class one Sunday morning with a question. She rhetorically asked, if there was anything that God couldn't do? A little girl raised her hand with excitement. Teacher, teacher she yelled, I know something that God can't do. Annoyed, the teacher asked her what is it? The little girl proudly stood and told everyone in a professor like tone, that God can't see our sins through the blood of his son Jesus! I've got to take a praise break right there, because that's something that God can't do! Thank God that he can't do that! I'm glad that God looks at us but sees Jesus, because he lives within us. I urge you today to not forget these principles and to express them in your living, so that there's no mistake that you are a child of God!

***Tomorrow's verse...1 John 3:16 'Love That Lifts'


  1. Simply put. I can trust God because He is sure, safe, and strong. Hallelujah!

  2. Simply put. I can trust God because He is sure, safe, and strong. Hallelujah!