Today we are praying for the country of Malawi. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Malawi by joining in prayer with the video below.
Today's Devotional Thought
1 John 4:7-21
John begins this section of his letter with a very loud and clear command. He said in verse 7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” It is interesting that he begins his command to love one another with the word “beloved.” You can see John’s love for the brethren coming out in his commands to the brethren to love. He follows this command with a powerful discourse on love. In fact, the word love is used roughly 27 times in this short text…depending on the translation you are reading. We will see 3 insights about God and His love this week, and then next week we will see how we are to demonstrate that love in light of God’s love for us next week.
First, we see that God defines love. John writes in verse 8, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” In other words, we need to know God to know love. Do you know God? How did you come to know Him? Did you read the Bible from Genesis 1:1 all the way to Revelation 22:21 in search of who He is? If not, then how did you get your knowledge of God? Most of us might have to admit, that the vast majority of our knowledge of God has come from second hand information; from a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, or an author. I have a question for you if this is the case in your life. Would you marry a blind date on the testimony of your best friend? Assume that he came to you promising that the girl is pretty. Assume that he came to you convinced that she had a wonderful personality. Assume that he comes to you communicating the fact that her daddy is rich and that everything about her is exactly what you have dreamed about! Would you be willing to marry this girl without ever meeting her, seeing her, or getting to know her? Would you marry a blind date on the testimony of your best friend? Of course not! Then why would you stake your eternity on the words of a pastor, teacher, or author that you hardly know?
If the truth were known, most of us define God by 1 John 4:8 alone: God is love. There are a few major problems with this definition of God alone. First, God is so much more than just love. He is ever present, all knowing, all powerful, sovereign, unchanging, eternal, infinite, all-wise, holy, just, righteous, merciful, gracious, long-suffering, patient, love, and so much more! When we limit our understanding of God to love, we miss much of who God is. Secondly, when we just think of God as love, we have a tendency to define God by our idea of love. We have no right to impose upon God’s character our finite definition of love. We must define love, by God, not vice versa. God made us in His image, but we often try to make Him in our image. Love does not define God. God defines love! Know God, then you will know love.
Stay tuned until tomorrow....
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