We continue with our readings in the apostle John’s first letter, Chapter 4 verses 16b to 21.
If John was on that radio panel game where you are not allowed to repeat yourself, he wouldn’t do very well!!He keeps coming back to the same themes, and because he is an apostle, set apart by the Lord Jesus, and because we believe his writing to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, we are compelled to read and listen to what God is saying to us.
So if John tells us again that God is love (v.16b), that we love because He first loved us (v.19), and that part of our love for God is to love our brother, ie our fellow Christian (v.21), then we need to hear these things and take them on board.
3 quick additional points.
– Sometimes you might hear a person saying that they can’t take the Bible seriously, that it was written a long time ago, and that it is no longer relevant for today. They say that what drives and inspires them is love, and that God is love. Of course God is love, as I have said previously that is one of His defining characteristics, but how do we know that? Because the Bible clearly tells us that!! (1 John Ch.4 vs.8 and 16). There is a clear break of logic to keep hold of the love of God but do away with the source which tells us that this is true, and how it is shown in practice.
– As God’s love in us grows and is made complete, then there is no need to be afraid of Him or the judgement to come, because perfect love drives out fear (v.18).We still fear God, in a reverential, respecting and honouring way, because He is Almighty, the Creator and we are part of His creation, but we don’t have to be scared of Him, or of what is to come.
– Verse 20 is a constant challenge and puts it so clearly to keep us rooted to the reality of the ordinary and the everyday. ‘If anyone says I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.’
From our extended address list, let us remember in our prayers today,- Pat and Catherine- Jotham and Jethro