Tuesday, December 23, 2008

1 John 4:8-20 (New International Version)

8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There 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.

19We love because he first loved us. 20If 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.

I know most people think of 1 Corinthians 13 as "the Love Chapter," but after all, 1 John 4:8 is the verse that declares that God IS love. 1 John 4:18 is one that I've cited millions of times durring the recent elections. The right-wing and conservative "Christians" seem to like to try to literally scare the Hell out of people. I think that 1 John 4 has important lessons for us all, and not just for Christmas. But I agree that 1 Cor 13 is important too- read it replacing the word love with the name Jesus and it demonstrates the truth of 1 John 4:8. It's very convicting to replace the word love with your own name and see how UNtrue the chapter becomes.

Know this much this Christmas, that Jesus loves YOU.

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