Bible Verse: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

Scripture Reading: 1 John 5:1-5

All this week, we’ve dug deep into the idea of perfect love.

While we get glimpses of true love from time to time, they seem to be exactly that – snapshots of perfection, not the full experience.

Yet as children of God, we have access to a fellowship and love that truly fulfills our deepest needs and desires.

First of all, that love is giving without expecting anything in return. Secondly, it’s sacrificial. In 1 John 4:10 we get a clear picture of what agape love means for God: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (NIV)

Another aspect regarding the manifestation of love that we should consider, has to do with the fact that Jesus loved us first. He loves us even if and when we did not love Him. God proved His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Finally, we must also learn to model God’s perfect love for us to others. Our love for people who confess Christ is not based on their performance. If everything about you was known by others, would you deserve to be loved? No, our love for the child of God is based on our love for the Father of that child. If we love the “Begetter,” we should love the “begotten.” If we love the Father, we should love His children. God is the source, God is love, and as we grow in our fellowship with Him, our love for others will grow too.

When we see this kind of love demonstrated in our midst, we can know with certainty that God abides in us. That’s when we sense God’s love. When we observe sacrificial love in the community of believers, John seems to be saying that we have a reincarnation of the Father’s love which was perfect love, a love that sent His only begotten Son into the world to save the world through His own sacrificial love on the cross.

— Dr. Dave Anderson, author of Maximum Joy


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