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1 John Love

December 7, 2018

Hey, everyone! This is a devotional from the book I'm writing right now (tweaked for the blog). My hope is it will be out in April for you to purchase. (Oh my gersh . . . so exciting!) My heart for my friends is that you know just how much God cares for you, so I'm writing a devotional about just that - places in scripture where the different facets of God's love are displayed. This one is from 1 John. Enjoy!

 

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 

(4:16)

 

 

If a new friend were to ask you to describe yourself, to tell her who you are, what would you say?

 

These are the times I wish you and I were chummy neighbors with nothing to do but brew some local snooty coffee and chat over a breakfast item with the calorie count of an entire vat of fried chicken. I so badly want to hear your answer. (Ooh! Send it to me on Instagram!) But since a face-to-face breakfast date isn’t a thing for us, I’ll just tell you what I would probably say, and you get to have all the fun, okay?

 

I’m an obsessive overthinker. I’m sappy and sassy with a side of middle-aged boho. On a really good day, I’m a bit funny. Also, I’m a cat lady who is, in fact, allergic to cats. I am quite literally a cat whisperer who can charm the most frustrating feline into a furry roly poly asking for tummy rubs, but I will then descend into the abyss of snot and sneeze. What in all the fur balls was God doing when He created that combination? Alas, His ways are higher than mine. 

 

Take a look at our scripture today. Many of us have read this many times, but I want us to pause and really think about what it means. Familiarity can birth dismissal, and I don't want that for us on this verse. It's just too good. 

 

God is love.

 

Not God has love. God is love. It’s who He is. If someone were to ask us to describe Jesus – to tell them who He is – we could safely answer that He is love. 

 

You may be wondering what the difference between having love and being love is. Let me keep with the decadent dessert theme and compare it to a donut. Do you agree there is a difference between having a donut and being a donut? Mmmmm . . . donuts. Ugh, curse you, Weight Watchers! Anyway, if I have a donut, I’m free to act on having it by eating it or not eating it. I can even discard it – throw it out. Maybe I have a kolache instead. However, if I am a donut, I have no other choice but to act out of being a donut. I can’t act as a kolache if I’m a donut. Well, maybe the analogy gets a little weird right there, but you get it.

 

God is love. He can never act out of a different nature because He doesn’t possess one. He will never not be compassionate or forgiving or attentive. He is love, so every single thing He does towards us is loving – even if, in our limited understanding, something doesn’t seem loving. He will never not love. If we use that as our filter, there ain’t no shakin’ us no matter what God lets in our life. We know who He is, and that never changes. That is dependable love.

 

Ideas for personal response:

 

+What would change in your life if you could live out of the truth that God is always love?

+What has looked unloving in your life in the past? Ask God to show you where His love was in that moment.

+What does God’s dependable love look like in your life, and what does it mean to you?

 

Love to you!

~Misti

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