Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, and it is “a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal when Christians are invited to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.” This Lent, we are doing a 40-day study from the American Bible Society to focus our time in God’s Word and prayer on His renewing power (click HERE for the reading plan). Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
|Lord God, by your Word fill me with a spirit of love and servanthood…
1 John 4:7-21
God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Propitiation | Kathy Page
1 John 4:9-11
This word ‘propitiation’ has the idea of a sacrifice that turns away God’s wrath. God rightly regarded us apart from Him as worthy targets of His judgment. We were rebels and enemies of Him even though we did not know it. But, on the cross, Jesus took the punishment our sins deserved. His sacrifice turned away the judgment we deserve. We of course see this as the love of Jesus, but John wants us to understand it also shows the love of God the Father – He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. It is very clear in this passage that Jesus is the only sufficient sacrifice for eternal life.
At the cross – justice and mercy kissed. Jesus substituted Himself for me, for all sinners. He suffered and died in my place to forgive, love and embrace me. Right before the nails pierced His hand, He looked over and saw my sins in His hand. My sins were diverted to Jesus. He did this not demanding my blood, but by giving His own. Jesus paid the price I deserved. This is the gift of salvation. It is received by faith alone.
Heavenly Father, You have blessed me with Your Word, Your Truth. You teach me as I walk with You and learn Your ways. You are showing me that by my sins, Your wrath is real. Yet by my sins, Your love, mercy and grace are beautiful beyond words. Incomprehensible that You would love me like this. You sent Jesus Your Son to die for me, He took my punishment on that cross. There is no greater love. Thank You, my Lord. In Your Name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.