Thursday, December 6, 2012
Dwelling with Love
As I was reading in I John 4 this morning, I was praying for revelation (as I nearly always do when reading the Bible). When I finished the twenty-one verses of the chapter, I realized I had marked parts of each verse! I know people are funny about whether writing in their Bible's is acceptable, but I have highlighted, underlined, starred, circled and double-underlined things that stand out, or that I need to remember, or I want to memorize for years. Verses 4, 16, 18 & 21 racked up the most marks this morning. From the Amplified version they read: 4"Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world." 16"And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him." 18"There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]." 21"And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also." These are some pretty powerful statements! Yes, we've heard them before, but have we really understood them to the degree that they are actually realities in our lives - are we living them? Am I living them? Do my actions and thoughts and life reflect and reinforce the truths contained within them? I'm praying for continued and unfolding understanding and revelation regarding them: That because God (Love) lives inside me (and I in Him), I have the most powerful force in the universe within me. That any enemy that is contrary to Him in my life has already been defeated & I have already overcome it! That in Him (Love), fear and dread does not exist because it kicks out every trace of terror! And because of all of this, I am able to love others! Wow! Here's a prayer I wrote in my journal as a response - feel free to use it, too: "Lord, help me to become overwhelmingly conscious of Your love for me. Help me to understand that You long for me to know Your love. Let the revelation of that reality so become a part of me that my thoughts and actions are a reflection of that truth - as evidenced by my love for others and the absolute absence of fear (in any form) in my life. Thank You for this gift. I receive it with great joy and thankfulness. To You be all honor and glory forever and ever. In Jesus' name amen!"