Stephen preached from 1 John 4:7-19 last night, a famous passage about love. Now love today has been misinterpreted and misconstrued; it’s not all about red love hearts and romantic love, as the card industry would perhaps have us believe. This passage talks about ‘perfect love’ and also tells us that ‘God is love’ (twice, in verses 8 and 16.)

From this passage, we learn that love ultimately comes from God. It’s ‘more than a feeling’ and involves a relationship between us and God. Love will always involve actions (God sent His Son) and God’s love is something we can both know and rely on (1 John 4:16), for God’s love brings security into our lives. So often, we have lost love in life and become, as a result, fearful, wary, mistrusting, but God’s love is perfect and, we are told, is the thing that can drive out fear.

God’s love reveals security, gives us peace within and helps us to have confidence (vs 17.) It can cast out the fear in our lives which makes us insecure (vs 18.) It prompts a response from us, to love God and to love others. God’s love can make the difference in our lives.

The challenge we then face is asking ourselves “Am I allowing God’s love to transform me so I do not fear?” Fear is a pervasive part of our lives, from phobias to that general anxiety that stops us from really trusting people and God. But God’s perfect love can drive out fear and enable us to be transformed.

For further reflection, listen to Matt Redman’s song ‘This Is How We Know’, taken from this passage in 1 John 4: