Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Love: from God to us and on to others

October 26, 2022

Daily Scripture

1 John 4:16-21

16 We have known and have believed the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 17 This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love because God first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God” and hate their brothers or sisters are liars. After all, those who don’t love their brothers or sisters whom they have seen can hardly love God whom they have not seen! 21 This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.


Daily Reflection & Prayer

Some people fear that “righteous” people are not loving, that following Jesus makes you critical and unloving. That was not the apostle John’s view! John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, preached a sermon on April 21, 1777 that quoted John and invited all Christ-followers, “Let us provoke all men, not to enmity and contention, but to love and good works; always remembering those deep words… ‘God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him!’” *

  • Why would John say, “Perfect love drives out fear”? 1 John 4:20 said, “Those who say, ‘I love God’ and hate their brothers or sisters are liars.” Do you agree that it is often fear that leads us to hate other people? Why would hating others block any genuine love for God? Can you think of practical ways to let God’s perfect love move you in the direction of acting in love toward “others,” even if you think they deserve fear and distrust rather than love?
  • “‘God is love’…. touches on everything, from the individual-psychological to the radically communal…. Love and God go together; hate and God do not (4:20); fear and God do not (4:18).” ** Have you ever experienced a situation in which as you learned to love another person your fear of that person decreased and even disappeared? In what ways has following Christ made you and your relationships more loving?

Lord Jesus, you embodied God’s love for me. Now you call me to embody your love as I deal with other people, even people I may not like, may even fear. Grow your love in my heart. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Dr. Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden is Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality, teaching at several seminaries. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. Her latest book (Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Abingdon Press, 2017) traces ancient mindfulness practice for Christians today.

The BE campaign has begun! Be Just. Be Kind. Be Humble.

Deceptively simple, yet can be hard to live.

I used to think that if I was a good person, I’d be able to just naturally be kind. And that if I can’t love others, then that means I’m a bad person. Why can’t I just dig down deep and summon up kindness or love?

What I’ve noticed over the years of walking with Jesus is that I cannot, on my own, summon love out of nothing, especially for people who are bullies or unkind themselves. (Ugh, I hate admitting that, deep down, it feels like some people don’t “deserve” kindness!).

Then I realized: I don’t have to summon kindness out of nothing. God already loves this person. What if I just turned to God and God’s love flowing for that person? The more I could visualize God’s love like beams of light pouring over that person, the more I could get on board and the more I could be kind, just riding God’s coattails.

My spiritual practice now is first to step into the flow of God’s love, so that I can BE kind or just or loving from that Source.

Try an experiment today: Visualize someone (or group) with whom you struggle to be kind or just or humble. Visualize God’s love flowing into that person. See what happens.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* From Wesley’s sermon “On Laying The Foundation Of The New Chapel, Near The City-Road, London” at

** Jaime Clark-Soles note on 1 John 4:16-20 in The CEB Women’s Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2016, p. 1562.