In reading 1 John chapter 3 & 4, there are so many great nuggets in this passage of scripture. Take some time to really study them out. Being St. Valentine’s Day it seems fitting that we should do a bit of study on love. For it is the most powerful force in all the universe. The love of God, that is, not natural, human love. And we are able to partake of it because the Word of God says it has been “shed abroad in our hearts”!
Looking at 1 John 3, the beginning of this passage starts off with recalling the account of the tragedy between Cain and Abel. Verse 11,12 “From this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should LOVE one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil and his brothers were righteous.” Verse 14 “He who does not love abides in death.” Verse 16 “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; as we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
This was the excellent example we have to follow. That Jesus willingly gave up His life for ours! He saw value in His great sacrifice because He saw value in us. We all have opinions; some for guns, some against guns, some pro-life, some pro-choice, Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal, the list goes on, but the love of God is the only thing that can heal our land and fill the void in people’s hearts. We need to see value in others.
We know that “faith works by love”, therefore, if we are going to be good at “walking by faith”, we will need to be equally as good at “walking in love”. As the body of Christ, we are supposed to be recognized by our love walk. Chapter 4:7, 11 & 12 says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.”
Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. He is the head and we are His body. If we are His body and we are physically on the earth, then His hands are our hands. He needs us to continue His work and He desires to work with and through us. But we need to make ourselves available to Him. If we truly walk in love, we won’t put our own needs first. We will find value in others and in meeting their needs. We are the only Jesus that people will ever see until He returns. How are we representing Him? Are we declaring His great love without even uttering a word?
There is so much for the people of the world to be fearful of. Terror is all around them, while believers have the blessing to walk in perfect peace. Verse 18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” The Amplified version of this verse is INCREDIBLE…“There is no fear in love[dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and EXPELS every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete PERFECTION]. We have been given the great commission which can be summed up in loving others as ourselves. If we love, we will act and react differently. If we love, we will have compassion for others and realize they are responding as they do because of fear. If we truly love, we will share the Gospel! It’s that simple. It’s the only thing that will set them free! The Gospel will speak for itself, but it first needs somebody who will share it. Then the love of God can do the rest and transform lives!