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God's Perfect Love In Us (SLR Devo)

Being part of a Christian community—a church—is of the utmost importance for growth, development, and maturation in Christ.
God's Perfect Love In Us (SLR Devo)
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21 (CEB)1

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is loveThis is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him. 10 This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins.

11 Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us. 13 This is how we know we remain in him and he remains in us, because he has given us a measure of his Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the savior of the world. 15 If any of us confess that Jesus is God’s Son, God remains in us and we remain in God. 16 We have known and have believed the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 17 This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love because God first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God” and hate their brothers or sisters are liars. After all, those who don’t love their brothers or sisters whom they have seen can hardly love God whom they have not seen! 21 This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.

1 Revised Common Lectionary, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B

Lyric: "The Love of God" by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)

shallow focus photography of musical note book
Photo by Michael Maasen / Unsplash

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

--"The Love of God" by Frederick M. Lehman


In 1 John 4:7-21, the apostle John paints a vivid portrait of a divine love, sacrificial, and unconditional. Love originates from God, and those who truly know God are compelled to love one another.

John exhorts us to love because love is not merely a warm fuzzy feeling, but rather the very fabric of God’s character. It is through love that God is revealed to humanity by sending His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We, as God's children, are called to emulate this love in our relationships as we demonstrate compassion, forgiveness, and kindness.

In Matthew's gospel, Jesus tells his followers to "love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven" (5:44-45, CEB). Children emulate their fathers, students follow the ways of their teachers, and disciples of Jesus Christ walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). We can do this because the divine love of God is being perfected in us. This love of God drives out fear, enabling us to love freely, including even those who do not love us first.

As we journey through life, let us be vessels of God’s love, extending grace to the broken, offering solace to the weary, and embracing the marginalized. Let us love not only in word or speech but in action and truth.

May our lives be a testimony to the transformative power of love, reflecting the boundless love of our Heavenly Father to a world in need of hope and redemption.

Heavenly Father, you loved us first by extending your grace to each and every human being. Thank you. Teach us to love you and to love other with the same kind of love we have received. Help up to extend grace in the same way grace has been extended to us. Show us how to be merciful in the same way we have been shown mercy.

May your Spirit work in us and through us to shape and form us ever more into your image. Let people see you in me, even as I seek to see you in them. Continue to perfect your love in me, drive our whatever fears weigh me down, and give me the stregnth to love fully and freely in you.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, we pray. Amen.

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