December 26

1 John 4:9-10, 16-18

God is love

“This is how God showed His great love for us,” John wrote to the believers. “He sent His one and only Son to earth that we might have eternal life through His death.”

John continued: “This is love: not the kind of love we have for God, but the love He showed us by sending Jesus to take the punishment for our sin so that God’s holy anger would be turned away from us.

God is love. Whoever lives a life of love lives in God and God lives in Him. In this way our love is made perfect and we will not be ashamed when we stand before Him on the day of judgment. We do not need to fear someone who loves us perfectly, because fear has to do with punishment. A person who is afraid of being punished does not know or understand the love of God.”

What does it mean ‘to fear God’?

How do you feel when you’ve done something wrong and know you’ll be punished for it? How do you feel when someone is angry with you and shouts at you?

Sometimes we feel guilty, and even afraid of God, when we’ve done something we shouldn’t have. Because we feel guilty, it is hard for us to imagine how God would still love us just the same. And because we doubt God’s love we become afraid of Him. We may even imagine that God will take something away from us, or make us sick, or punish us in some way. 

When the Bible talks about fearing God, it doesn’t mean we should be scared of Him, but that we should respect His awesome holiness.

If God sent His only Son to die so that you could be forgiven, why would He punish you if you’ve asked Him to forgive you?

Verse for today

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. Psalm 33:18