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Love Is A Way Of Life

1 John 4:16
We have experienced and we have entrusted our lives to the love of God in us.  God is love. Anyone who lives faithfully in love also lives faithfully in God, and God lives in him.

The word love shows up all over the place in scripture. It can be difficult to understand the fullness of love because in English we have only one word that encompasses a lot of definitions and a lot of feelings. We equate love most often with an emotion. You feel love toward someone or something. It is fulfilling or satisfying something in you. Here in 1 John, we are told flat out, no minced words, “God is love.” Period. End of sentence. God and Jesus are the full embodiment of love. If they are the full embodiment of love than we know love goes beyond just an emotion and feelings. Love is a way of life, a practice. In the Gospel of John, Jesus gives another command, “Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” The way we live in love is not only important to our relationship with God, but our relationships to others as well. A few verses later, John says, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear”. Does this mean we’ll never be afraid again? No. we will. But when we live in the Love of God we can be certain that peace is there too. Living in the love of God and the peace of him gives us space to love those around us well.

Lectio Divina Practice
As you walk through the Lectio Divina today, read the scripture above and meditate on it, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to you.

  1. Silencio: Come into God’s presence. Quietly prepare your heart to meet with and hear from Him.  Slow down, relax, release the noisy thoughts that crowd your mind over to him.

  2. Lectio: Read the scripture above slowly and out loud, let words resonate with you. Be aware of words that stick out to you. When a word or phrase grabs your attention, stop reading. Sit with it. Open your hearts to what God is saying to you. Underline the phrase, make notes of what you’re hearing. Don’t analyze it or judge it. Listen and wait.

  3. Meditatio: Meditate. Read the Scripture a second time out loud. Savor the words. Listen for any invitation that God is extending to you in this word. Reflect on the importance of the words that light up to you.

  4. Oratio: Respond, pray. Read the Scripture a third time. Now is the moment to enter into a personal conversation with God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to respond truthfully and authentically. What feelings has the text brought about in you? Talk about where you are feeling resistant or want to push back, and of where you feel invited into a deeper way of being with God.

  5. Contemplatio: Contemplate, rest and wait in the presence of God. Allow some time for the word to sink deeply into your soul. Yield and surrender yourself to God. Before you leave, you might consider a reminder that can help you dwell on this word throughout the day.

Family Moments 
Read 1 John 4:16 together. Talk about how love is not just an emotion we feel, but love is also expressed as actions. God doesn’t just feel love towards us—he actively loves us and is working all things for our good if we trust in Him. How have you have seen God working lately? Has He answered a prayer, provided comfort, or brought healing?