1 John 4:13-21
We know that God loves us, and we know that we should love others, but what keeps us from it? What stops us from being bold about our faith, and loving relentlessly? Why is it that we tend to make our grace something to be earned and our love something given with strings attached? Why are we so afraid of being taken advantage of by others? We are so worried that our efforts will be spent in vain.
John, in this continued section, tells believers that they have an assurance that comes from the Spirit living inside them. This God, the one who knows us and lives within us, is a God of love who has given such a great confidence to us. A confidence that in the end, we will be with him, forgiven and accepted. However our story in this life may unfold, we know and have confidence in how the story will ultimately end.
In other words, we don’t know all the details of our life, but we do know how this struggle ends. And since we know how this struggle ends we should be fearless. We should press forward without hesitation, unsure of the circumstances, but assured of the finale. We may not know what this life holds, but we know eternity awaits.
When it comes to the way we love people, we often get afraid, and put up walls, hide behind judgment, ignorance, and “alternate facts.” John tells us, the facts are clear. We are sinners, forgiven, adopted, and called to share the love we have experienced with those around us. The confidence we have in the end of our story should cast out all fear about the details of this life. The knowledge of God’s redemptive plan should push us to be more than ready to love those around in a radical way those in darkness will never understand.
“This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”