And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.1 John 4:16-18
Heavenly Father, there are a lot of things we rely upon daily, without giving these things much thought. We rely on water coming out of the shower head as we prepare for the day. We rely on our cars starting when we turn the ignition key. We rely on bridges and overpasses to sustain the heavy traffic flow on our way to work. But there is nothingwe must be able to rely on, more so, than your love for us in Jesus. And there isnothing to which we should give more thought daily.
Father, we praise you that your love for us is actually knowable. We don’t have to guess… we don’t have to live with uncertainly… we don’t have to be paralyzed with fear.This is love, not that we loved you, but that you loved us and gave your Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice of atonement—as a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). There is no greater demonstration of love in all of history than your gift of Jesus on our behalf. We love you, or anybody, only because you first loved us, and continue to love us in Jesus (1 John 4:19).
Father, we praise you that your love for us is reliable daily. We are thrilled to know your love drives out all fear of judgment and punishment. We no longer have to be afraid to die. We can live with the absolute assurance of heaven. Your love for us in Jesus is absolutely reliable as we face death. Jesus has exhausted the penalty of our sin. We will never be punished for our sins because Jesus took the punishment we deserve on the cross. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
However, we can… and we must… fully rely on your love well before we die. Nothing but your love can enable us to love others the way you are calling us to love them.
We share that reliable shower with family members. Father, your love is enoughfor us to love our spouses, children, parents and siblings to your glory. Loving well is never easy, for we are sinners in need of grace. Help us to fully rely on your love as we seek to demonstrate and enjoy the gospel in our homes.
We drive those reliable cars on streets with all kinds of people all around us. Father, forgive us when we navigate through life as though we are the point… mindlessly oblivious to people and needs all around us. Give us your eyes and your heart for other people with whom we share the roadway and traffic jams.
We cross over bridges and overpasses en route to jobs, schools, church buildings… all kinds of destinations. Father, by the power of the gospel, make us far more intentional about loving well once we get where we are going.
Convict us about our bad attitudes… the utilitarian ways we relate to one another… the ways we take each other for granted… the indifference we show to one another. We don’t work, study, play and worship with any ordinary people. Everybody matters. There are no little people, places and moments. You are writing amazing stories of redemption all around us.
Father, help us to fully rely on the love you have for us today… for all the demands and delights of loving well. So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ compassionate name.