Yesterday’s message about love from chapter 3 was quite challenging. God’s love has been lavished on us, and we are to love our brothers and sisters, just as Jesus did, to the extent of laying down our lives for them.
Does that seem possible? Can we really live such selfless lives? If we are to think back over the past few weeks, we might find that we have failed many times. John returns to the theme here in chapter 4, but this time, right in the middle of a long section about love, he also talks about how God has given us his Spirit.
This is important. By ourselves, we could never love as God has called us to love. Left to our own devices, we would sometimes be giving, but sometimes selfish, sometimes loving, but sometimes prideful. By the power of the Holy Spirit, though, anything is possible. It is through the Spirit that we know that we live in God and he lives in us, and whoever lives in love, lives in God. It is through the Spirit that we can learn to accept the love of God and to freely share it.
And love is important. Perfect love, John says, drives out fear. How badly do we need fear to be driven out of our lives, our homes, our communities and our nation? How much better would we all live if so many were not driven by fear? We can take the first steps in banishing fear by living in love. Let us make a commitment to love, love and more love.