“Dear friends, let us love one another, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(G)”>and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 

Dear friends, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”>since God so loved us, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”>we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(L)”>but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We know <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”>that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”>that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(R)”>God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”>Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”>among us so that we will have confidence <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”>on the day of judgment, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”>because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”>because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”>he is a liar. <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AB)”>For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AC)”>cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And he has given us this command: <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”>Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
– 1 John 4:7-21

This was the text for our sermon on Sunday morning.  I have been blessed to have grown up in the church, and the older I get, the more I realize what an amazing blessing that is.  But, sometimes, it’s a bit of a problem for me too.  I think I sometimes take God’s truth for granted.  I mean, I can discuss doctrine and theology for hours, not a problem.  But this Sunday, hearing one of the most basic truths again, it was pretty convicting.  

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.”  Wow.  This was not news to me.  I know this.  But, it just really hit home for me this week.  Part of love is forgiveness, and not carrying a grudge, or resentment.  Not easy things to do.  But it’s required of me, and thankfully I don’t have to do it on my own.

It would be really worth your while to listen to this week’s sermon from Brody Jespersen. Brody is one of our “youth guys”, and I’m so thankful for him and all of the rest of our church staff.  Take a listen…..it’s a pretty impacting message.
And then go live it.

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