Saturday, February 23, 2013

perfect love casts out fear

Good afternoon friends,
Today's reading isn't so much about facing the end of life. Instead it is about God's love, which is the foundation we need to face the end of our lives or the lives of those we love with courage and confidence. We love because God loves us first. When we love others we express God's love and get to know it better.

As we move towards perfection in love, in other words, as we start to love unconditionally, we become less worried about death or judgment or any of the things that scare us about death. The more we love and the more we trust God's love, the more we can trust that in life and in death we abide in God. As we rest in God now, we know that death is just a transition to resting in him even more completely. The unknown is scary, but we know that we will be with God, and that is enough. I hope you'll be in worship tomorrow so we can talk together about facing the end.

God bless,

1 John 4:9-21
9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

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