Our memory verse challenge has kicked off for the year, and February's passage is 1 John 4:7-10:
"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 is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
This passage was chosen as part of one of our core beliefs, that God loves us. And this is an important passage. It expresses the fundamental truth that God loved us not because we could reciprocate it, or at least somehow "pay him back". Rather, God's love is so one-sided that without God's sacrifice we would be living under the full consequences of our sin.
The word "propitiation" is a difficult word to understand. It carries the picture of God wrath being taken on by Christ, instead of us. Some translators use the word "atonement" to help us understand this better. Basically, because of sin we were living under the wrath of God, or as Paul writes it, we were "children of wrath" (Eph 2:3). This is not to mean that God was impulsively angry with us. No! God's wrath is intricately linked to God's justice. Sin demands a payment; death to be exact. That payment was something we were meant to pay, except that Christ took it upon Himself. His death was the propitiation of our sin.
As we meditate on this verse, consider how this sits with you. I know that for myself the idea that I was living under a death-sentence is foreign to me. It is something that I struggle with. But this is important truth in God's word.
Another point to meditate upon is that John exhorts us to love the way that Christ did. What does that look like? Scripture is not meant to simply be read and left on the shelf. Rather, it is something we put into practice in our lives. This passage gives us a practical exhortation. So, what are you going to do about it?
We would love your interaction on what God is revealing to you through this month's memory passage. Jump on the app and go to the memory verse challenge section, and we can continue the conversation!