1 John 4:7-21 Love casts out fear…

1 JOHN 4:7-21

7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • God is love.
  • As you pay attention to the breath, breathe in God’s love.
  • As you exhale, let go of any hatred that you encounter.
  • Continue to inhale God’s love and exhale any hatred of one another.
  • Continue as you open yourself as fully as possible to God.
  • Remember a time when you first realized God loves you.
  • How old are you?  Where are you?  What do you hear?  see?  smell?  taste?  feel?
  • Are there others with you?
  • Remember a time when God turned your hatred into love.
  • How old are you?  Where are you?  What do you hear?  see?  smell?  taste?  feel?
  • Are there others with you?
  • Remember a time when God turns oppression into love.
  • How old are you?  Where are you?  What do you hear?  see?  smell?  taste?  fee.?
  • Are there others with you?
  • Consider each remembrance.  Are there similarities?  Differences?  Expectancies?  Surprises?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, May 6, 2012, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

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