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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Beloved, Let Us Love.

1 John 4    Ezra 1-2    Psalm 91

“God is love” (1 John 4:8,16). Pure and profound. And we — you, me, all people — are loved by God first (v.10,19), fully (v.9-11), faithfully (Psalm 91), and intimately forever (1 John 4:15-17). So we learn in today’s readings, as exiles return (Ezra), the psalmist sings of God’s protection (Psalm 91), and 1 John teaches. But what of this love? How does it influence our lives? And what difference does it make in who we are and how we relate to God and others? Consider the word of God . . .

“You who live in the shelter of the Most High . . .” (Psalm 91:1) To be loved by God and know it is to enter into an entirely new reality; it is to be sheltered in God, who is love . . . to live in God and know the truth of God living in us (1 John 4:12-16). To trust this all-encompassing love of God is to know complete protection and presence (Psalm 91). And deliverance from fear (1 John 4:18); be it fear of peril or foe or fear of love itself. And those thus sheltered have but one response:

“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Those who know God is love and trust God’s profound love for them are compelled and propelled to love one another. It is impossible to do otherwise (1 John 4:7,8). Said another way, when we fail to respond in love toward God and others, we reveal that we do not know God and do not yet comprehend just how much we are loved by God . . .  May you know that you are God’s beloved child. May you embrace and live into God’s love for you. And may you love others as you are being loved. Amen.

“Beloved, since God loved us so much,
we also ought to love one another.”

— 1 John 4:11

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