No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us. 13 By this we know [with confident assurance] that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given to us His [Holy] Spirit.
(1 John 4:12-13, Amplified Bible)
God puts us in a position to succeed in our relationship with Him and with each other. In 1 John 4 (above) He lets us know that we are given “the right stuff” – we abide in Him and He in us. Still, all relationships, even those founded in love, require commitment (sacrifice) and attention (definition and clarity).
When we are committed to God we make time for Him:
3 And this is how we know [daily, by experience] that we have come to know Him [to understand Him and be more deeply acquainted with Him]: if we habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings). 4 Whoever says, “I have come to know Him,” but does not habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings), is a liar, and the truth [of the divine word] is not in him. 5 But whoever habitually keeps His word and obeys His precepts [and treasures His message in its entirety], in him the love of God has truly been perfected [it is completed and has reached maturity]. By this we know [for certain] that we are in Him. (1 John 2:3-5)
John’s point is that we are not to love this world and the sinful pleasures in it. Being in the world for six days of the week precludes our love for the Father in heaven. Where your treasure is, there your love (heart) is as well. Where would you invest the essence of your love? If we offer the world our best, it will not be returned to us. Offering God our best purifies us; takes us from faith to faith and glory to glory.
Any people that avoid relationships, calling them “messy,” need to look to God who brought order to the earth. Remember Adam and Eve? When things got out of order bad things happened, and they still do. The enemy hates love. He attacks it because God is love. Which side have you chosen? When God’s people seek to distance themselves from each other, disconnection and divisiveness arise. Are we nicer to strangers than to fellow church members? There is no love without unity.
Don’t think that the version of you that is sitting in your seat is the best you’ll ever be! Stop thinking that God is through with you. The word says that it does not yet appear. God has much more for you. Just imagine the glory of God that is to come! Take God out of the box and out of your understanding! When we are in the presence of the glory of God, He will recognize His children by their resemblance to Him and to His glory.
Evil in the world succeeds when there isn’t enough love to come against it. Stop yelling at the television and start to work in the area in which you’ve been assigned. Be the difference in the room. Love is the most important proof of His resistance. If you talk about God without using love you are misrepresenting Him. We sometimes forget that we didn’t have it together before we accepted Jesus. Tell those you meet, “If you fall, keep coming back. God still loves you, and so do I.”
- Paul and Silas shared such a strong relationship in ministry and worship that they were able to shake the earth while in prison. How does their example impact your relationships in ministry?
- Paul first rejected, and some years later endorsed, young Mark as messenger of the gospel. What does this teach us about relationships in ministry?
Explain the meaning of 1 John 4:12 Amplified: “His essence abides in us and is completed and perfected in us.”
Captured By Love, Pt. 2
Pastor Bernard McNeill
October 28, 2018