Bible Reading: 1 John 4.13-17
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 1 John 4.13-17
The writer of Hebrews tells us that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Paul writes, “It is by grace we have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). If it is by faith we are saved, and faith is described as things hoped for and unseen, how can we know if we have been truly saved from our sin and brought back into a right relationship with God?
John in this epistle tells us quite simply that love is the way we will know. We read earlier in 1 John 4 that love first came from God, and that love was manifested to us by Him sending His Son to die for our sins (1 John 4:8-10). In today’s reading we see a similar statement partnered with a promise that is tied to that love. John says that if we confess that Jesus is the Son of God as witnessed and spoken by the apostles, which testifies of the love God has for us, we have God in us. So God’s love for us was perfected through Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment.
You might be asking what about the Holy Spirit? John mentions him in the first verse. Jesus promised us that when he leaves the Holy Spirit will come. Paul says that having believed in Christ, we are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit, which is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance, giving us once again confidence in the day of judgment (Ephesians 1:14). Evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives can be found when we bear the fruit of the Spirit, which brings us back to love. Love is the fruit of the spirit, and if we are in God and He is in us, then we have the Spirit and therefore have and will love others.
As we continue to seek transformation and fulfill the call to be one (B1) and make one (M1) we will talk about characteristics a disciple or follower of Jesus portrays, but all of them start with one word - love. I pray that as you go through today you will focus on that love which encompasses God’s love for you, your love for Him and sharing that love with others. For a reminder of what that love looks like I would encourage you to read through 1 Corinthians 13 and John 15.
Weekly Memory Verse: By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 1 John 4.2