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Advent: Real Love
1 John 4:9-10 — God showed His real love for us by sending His Son
Through January 6, I’ll be posting devotionals with an Advent and Epiphany theme to focus our minds on the nativity of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
1 John 4:9-10 NLT
The Apostle John was responsible for some of the most widely known New Testament verses. Mention John 3:16 to a Christian, and he or she likely knows the verse by heart. John was keenly aware of God’s love for humanity, manifested in sending His Son into the world to be sacrificed as the offering for our sin, and it is a central theme of 1 John 4.
Depending on which Bible translation you’re fond of, the section in which we find today’s verse is subtitled “Loving one another (NLT)”, “God Is Love (NASB, KJV)”, “Knowing God Through Love (CSB)”, “Love perfected among us” and other similar phrases. Regardless of the translation, John’s message is clear: God Is Love, and as Christians, we are called to love one another as He loves us.
Theologian David Guzik provides a wonderful analysis of why we must show love as followers of Jesus Christ:
If we do not love one another, how can we say that we have received the love of God and have been born of Him? Love is the proof we are taught to look for. If you had a pipe that was clogged — water kept going into it, but never came out, that pipe would be useless. You would replace it. Just so, God puts His love into our lives that it might flow out. We want the Lord to clear us and fill us so that His love can flow through us.1
Let us all strive to be that conduit of God’s love to all we meet!
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Eternal Father, You showed Your boundless love for us by sending Jesus to Earth. Like me, Jesus was tempted. Unlike me, he never wavered. Because of Your gift to those who believe in You, I know that my sins are forgiven and I will spend a joyful eternity in Heaven with You. Thank You for giving me the path to eternal life through Jesus, AMEN.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Guzik, David. Study Guide for 1 John 4, ©2018, Enduring Word Ministries. Used with written permission of the author.