John, in his first letter, is writing about the love
of God, but he does this after he has written that God is light. How
can you be afraid of someone you love?
As soon as John mentions all this he moves right on to the day of judgement.
day, every one will stand before God and appear before Almighty God,
whether they want to or not - whether or not they think it is a good
thing - whether or not they believe it.
When the Love of God is
flowing in a person's life, then even on the day of judgement, there
will be a confidence before God. We are delivered from the fear of
We need not fear punishment because Jesus Christ has dealt with that on the Cross.
In verse 19 of Chapter 4, John writes that we love because He first loved us - (no Him) - it is plural.
in verse 20, John is so practical, and so down to earth, as right in
the middle of this love passage, he refers to people being a liar.
us stands the image of God - someone created in the image of God - for
us to love - so love casts out hatred as well as fear.
In one sense we prove our love in annoying places, where we come into contact with people, and sometimes unlikeable people.
Think again of that band of disciples chosen and called by Jesus, and later on men like Paul and Barnabas and Silas.
love is tested, not simply by our words or praying, or even letters,
but in the reality of the situations we come across every day.
God's love is not a liking love. The love of God is a loving love, and it is unique.
Love is not bothered about whether it likes the person. It goes on loving.
only the Christian can understand this. When we travel from verse 7 to
verse 21, it is as if we have travelled the full circle.
us - we receive that love - His love flows from us - even to those who
offend us - or irritate us - or repel or reject us. This is the love of
God. This is the love of Christ.
When He was crucified, Jesus
demonstrated the reality and agony of this quality of love which is
different from any other type of love.
The Christian who is
committed to Jesus Christ will go on loving, and that is why we open
our life to Jesus and His Love, so that we can open our heart to our
brother and go on serving - even when people repel or reject or
Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness
Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in
Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching,
speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits
to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda
and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor
areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he
continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical