April 29, 2018

Free to Love

1 John 4:7-21

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

—  1 John 4:12

The first thing to do when solving a word problem in mathematics is to figure out what exactly the problem is asking. We must figure out what information is given and what is not. What are the constants that never change and what are the variables? One of the secrets to setting up the problem is to know how specific words are used in the language of math. For instance, the word “is” means “equals,” and when you see the word “is,” you know you can set up an equation in which the parts equal each other. That’s very helpful to know!

In this passage on love, the apostle John sets up a simple, beautiful, and yet remarkably complex equation: God is love. And this helps us understand what it means to live into the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The story of the relationship between God and creation is a story of love. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus tally up to the ultimate embodiment of love. And when we seek to live into the resurrection, we embody that love as well. God’s love frees us to live out that love in relationship with one another.

There is no fear in love. There is no shame in love. God and love can never be separated. This is the constant that will never change.

In what ways can you live out God’s love today?

God of grace, truth, and love, your perfect love makes us righteous in Christ. Take away every­thing in our lives that stands in the way of your love, and free us to love others. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Laurie Zuverink

Laurie Zuverink is an ordained pastor who has served in several capacities of ministry in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. Her work ties into the lives of young people, and her passion is to empower and equip the next generation of servant leaders. Pastor Laurie and her husband, Mark, have three children—one in grad school, one in college, and one in high school. Pastor Laurie enjoys deep conversations, bike rides, exploring the shores of the Great Lakes, and watching well-played soccer.

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