What can take place with our continual willingness, and the Spirit’s help? The replacement of anything that is not love with love.  Replace fear with love.  Make love a driving force in our spiritual, physical, emotional, and thought lives.

I think of Romans where it says to “Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor what is evil.  Cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9 NKJ).  Love, and specifically God’s love in our daily walk, allows us to do this, for we can’t do it alone.  It is so easy to be overcome with the evil with the world, to feel that it is unavoidable in its ability to penetrate our thought life and create fear.  In the world, when we are like Jesus, we are closer to having no fear.  A complete dependence, reliance, and trust in God makes the replacing “anything that isn’t love with love” process more doable.  A heightened acknowledgement, appreciation, respect, and dependence on Jesus leads to a life in God.  This awareness of Jesus allows us to better rely on God’s love.

It is helpful to remember that John’s words are all the more meaningful because he was helping Christians to overcome false teaching that minimized Jesus, that lessened his importance to salvation, and downgraded his relationship with God and with man.  On the contrary, John teaches, one can not fully understand and take part in the love that God has for us without being fully engaged with his Son.

{Meditations on 1 John 4:13-18}

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