"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfect in us.
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
We love because He first loved us. If anyone says "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother." -1 John 4:7-21
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💜 This Week’s Theme: Hearing God’s Voice ✝️
(The passage is from the book of John 10:22-30 NIV)
✨ “My Sheep Hear My Voice” ✨
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
24 The Jews who were there gathered around Him, saying, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in My Father’s name testify about Me,
26 but you do not believe because you are not My sheep.
27 My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me,
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
30 I and the Father are one.”
✨ Devotional for the passage above (John 10:22-30 NIV)✨
“My Sheep Hear My Voice”
💜 You may not want to think of yourself as a sheep, but that is a term Jesus used to describe His children. His sheep are all those who have trusted Him as Savior and they are the ones for whom He laid down His life. Scripture says these sheep are identified by three characteristics: They know their Shepherd, hear His voice, and follow Him.
Our Shepherd knew us before the foundation of the world. He sought us when we were lost, calling us each by name into His flock. We responded in faith by following Jesus, and from that point onward, we have been growing in our knowledge of Him and in our ability to obey His voice.
Yet sometimes we are rebellious sheep who, because of self-centeredness, fail to heed (to hear) Christ’s Word. We begin to ignore His directions and choose to listen to competing voices that promise to give us what we want. As we go our own way, it becomes harder to hear Christ’s voice.
God humbled Himself, became a man, and lived among sinful, willful human “sheep.” He laid down His life for them so that all who believe in Him could enter into the fold and become part of His flock. And once they become His sheep, He does for them exactly what the shepherds long ago did. He feeds them, protects them from enemies, brings them back when they stray, strengthens the weak, and cares for the hurting.
When we have difficulty hearing the Lord, the best remedy is to surrender our personal desires and fix our attention on what God wants. Only then will we again be able to discern (to recognize) our Shepherd’s voice calling us back to Himself. Being one of Christ’s sheep is the most secure and comforting position possible. He knows each of us intimately and calls us by name, leading us every step of the way through this life. And when we are truly His, we can distinguish His voice from all the others and will follow Him in obedience. ✝️