I’ve been studying in 1 John 4 this week. It is such a beautiful passage, and the entire them of the letter is LOVE. John mentions a version of the word, Love, twenty-seven times between verse 7 and verse 21. I believe that he was trying to get his point across, or he thought that we needed it repeated over and over before we would start to understand. My granddaughter, Emersyn, came over to visit me last weekend. She knows that I love her deeply, and that is not something that she would ever question. But, because she is a child, she sometimes disobeys me and she sometimes gets in a little trouble. We actually had a discussion about what type of punishment that she would deserve if she broke something.
Here is how the discussion went:
- Emersyn: “Neenee, would you be mad at me if I broke your plate?”
- Me: “No, not if it was an accident. But, you would be in trouble if I told you to stop playing around because you were going to break my plate, and then you didn’t mind me.”
- Emersyn: “So, I would get in trouble for not minding, but not because the plate broke?”
- Me: “Yes, that is right. Accidents happen all of the time, and that is not something that I would get upset over. However, when you don’t listen to me and don’t mind, that is when you get in trouble.”
Emersyn quickly understood that her disobedience was the issue, not the breaking of the plate. She came over, gave me a hug, and then said, “I love you NeeNee!” I hugged that little blonde hair sweetheart, and I told her that I would always love her, no matter what! “Even if I don’t mind?” she asked looking me in the eye. That answer was easy for me, and I looked her in the eye and said, “even if you don’t mind, you’ll always be my girl, and I’ll always love you.” Then she ran off down the hall to play.
As I was reading 1 John 4:18, I thought about my conversation with Emersyn the week before.
1 John 4:8
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Emersyn knows that I love her more than life. She knows that she never has to be afraid of me when she does something wrong. When she is disobedient, she might get punished, but she is still loved. How many of us have that same relationship with the Lord? Do we approach the Lord with fear when we’ve sinned, or do we approach Him with repentance and ask for His forgiveness?
The Lord also loves us more than life. He loves us more than we can even begin to imagine.
1 John 4:9-10
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
God showed His love to us by sending His ONE and ONLY Son into the world. God did not send His 3rd Son or His 5th Son, He sent His ONLY son to earth to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. The Lord knew that “we” were going to mess up, and He knew that “we” were going to be disobedient. But, He still loved “us” enough to send His ONE and ONLY Son to take “our” punishment for us.
He just looked all of us in the eye and said, “even if you don’t mind, you’ll always be my girl, and I’ll always love you.” Now, go run down the hall and play.
Have A Blessed Day!