Bible Reading: 1 John 4:16-21
Perfect love expels all fear. 1 John 4:18
Marty wanted to win the love of all the people in his world. So he came up with this list reminding him exactly what he needed to do to win people’s attention and affection:
- His gym teacher would carry him around school on his shoulders if he won the mile run in the school Olympics.
- The school librarian would quit giving him the evil eye if he would return Pet Tricks for Iguanas, the book he lost before Christmas.
- His video-game-crazed neighbor would think he was ultracool if he could beat the forty-eighth level of Snowboarder Mayhem.
- His language arts teacher would dance on her desk if he scored an A on his grammar assignment.
- His violin instructor would pull out his earplugs if he played in the right key.
Talk about it: Do you think Marty actually needed to do those things to feel loved? Why-or why not?
There’s no doubt Marty felt he had to do those things to be lovable. But the fact is he doesn’t have to do any of those things to be loved. God loves him no matter how he looks, what he does, or whether he ever unearths Pet Tricks for Iguanas.
When we were newborn babies, we liked to sleep and gulp milk. But we also longed to be held and cuddled. We ached to be loved. It’s as if we had a “love tank” inside us that needed to be filled. And if our capacity for love wasn’t met, we experienced hunger pangs. The more empty we were, the more hungry we became for love.
All of us still have a love tank. We still need it pumped full. But we don’t have to wonder how and where to get our love tanks filled.
Hopefully you experience the unconditional love of your family and friends. Unconditional love accepts you for just being you—it squeezes you silly and says, “No matter what you do, I will always love you just for being you!”
But the first source for filling your love tank is the unconditional, perfect love that comes from Jesus. He has the kind of love for you that lasts and lasts. It takes away your fear that no one will ever love you just the way you are. And no matter what, you can count on that love to be there for you.
TALK: How can we fill up our love tank? How can we help each other feel loved?
PRAY: God, fill us with your unconditional, perfect love for each other.
ACT: If your love tank is on empty today, open your heart to God’s love right now. Spend some time praying and in his Word.