Today we are praying for the country of Slovakia. 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 Slovakia by joining in prayer with the video below.
Today's Devotional Thought
We saw yesterday in verses 11 and 12 that God demonstrates His love for us by sacrificing for us, we demonstrate our love for God by sacrificing for Him, and love is demonstrated by us for others by sacrificing. John gives a logical progression of how we know and understand this God of love in the following verses.
First, we must receive the Spirit. Verse 13 says, “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” We receive the Spirit at salvation. We do not receive a portion of the Spirit, or part of the Spirit. We receive all of Him! In his letter John writes, “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24). Again in 1 John 2:27, “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit. He dwells within us. He convicts, disciplines, leads, guides, and directs us. The first act of the Spirit is to stir us and move us to confess Christ.
We receive the Spirit and we confess Christ. Consider verses 14 and 15, “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
Take some time to look up and consider Romans 10:8-13.
It is made clear that in order to be saved one must confess Jesus Christ as Lord, believe in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, and call upon His Name. This is part of the progression that John provides for us to know and understand God. Receive the Spirit and confess Christ.
Third we must experience His love. We read in verse 16, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” It is amazing that John would say that they have come to know and believe the love which God has for them. When we see the glory of God and our own sinfulness, it is hard to believe that God could or would love us! They came to the place with the help of the Spirit and upon their confession of Christ that they actually believed and accepted the fact that God loved them. Jesus said in John 15:9, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” UNBELIEVABLE!! Just like the Father loved Jesus, Jesus has loved us! Do you really believe that He loves You? Have You experienced His love? John’s audience had come to know and believe. It did not happen overnight. This isn’t tv dinner religion here….or fast food religion. They had to come to know and believe and sometimes we have to wait and tarry in His presence until we come to know and believe the love He has for us. “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” “Abide in My love.”
Finally, upon receiving the Spirit, confessing Christ, and experiencing His love, we then can have confidence! John writes in verses 17 and 18, “By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” As we believe and experience His love in our lives, we are then able to love rightly and biblically. We can, and must, love God vertically. We can, and must, love other horizontally. As we see His love flowing through us back to Him and out to others we have assurance that we are His! And as we have assurance that we are His children, we have increased confidence in Him. Romans 8:1 tells us, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” As we see God’s love poured out in us and through us back to Him and out to others, we have assurance that we are His children and we become confident in our relationship with Him. The fear of judgement begins to evaporate in the face of His love for us and His love working through us.
This all culminates in you and I, upon seeing God’s love demonstrated for us, demonstrating love, in a Biblical, godly way. Verses 19-21 say, “19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” If we have received the Spirit, confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, experienced and embraced His love for us, and have confidence that we are His children because of our love for Him and the brethren, it makes the reality of verses 19-21 clear. If we know God and His love, we love. How about you?
Please pray and share!