SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Scripture: 1 John 4:9-12
Every time we see the words “God is love,” in 1 John 4, we see shortly thereafter the word “perfected” concerning love. There are two declarations of “God is love,” both followed by the mention of “perfected.” It even says His love has been perfected in us. The Greek Word translated “perfected” is tel-i-o-o and it means ‘to grow into the place where we can carry our assigned destiny.’ English speakers tend to think of “perfected” as never making a mistake. But that is far from the meaning of tel-i-o-o. The true concept of this Greek word is that when we understand our assigned destiny, we start to make the changes and take the actions that enable us to grow into the place where we can first shoulder, and secondly carry out, that destiny. We are told in verse 12, “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been tel-i-o-o/perfected in us.” We define ‘loving one another’ from what we have heard emphasized from Matthew 5:38 – we define it as turning the other cheek. As a result, we have a church that primarily knows, practices and functions in only one or two layers of God’s love. We have a nation of Christians that practice mostly the first/evangelistic and second/pastoral layers of God’s love and do not have the necessary arsenal of application to deal with rampant evil! We have not been taught and have not grown into all five layers and are consequently stuck turning our cheek and forbearing against sin when we could be weaving a whip in prayer, and cleaning house! Do we want to be limited to one or two layers of God’s love or do we want to grow into the fullness of what God has for us?