4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
The Apostle John is obsessed with God’s love. Perhaps you’ve realized this already because as you read his letters, you’ll notice them dripping with love talk. This tells me John is absolutely convinced God is love (1 John 4:9) and we are his beloved (1 John 2:7, 3:2, 4:1, 4:7, 4:11). John is also convinced there is divine purpose in God’s love. He says, “God so loved the world, that God gave his only Son,” (John 3:16) and “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
In this passage, John hits one of his mic drop moments when he says, “whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected” (John 2:5).
Perfected. Webster defines this concept as making something completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible. At that point, work is finished, complete, and satisfied. Perfected. Here, John describes God’s love as being perfected. Whoa. Just imagine him saying, “When you do what my best friend says and love the way he loves, you not only perfect the art of love, but the divine cosmos will be satisfied because the foundation of his love reaches its’ most matured purpose.” Mic drop.
When Jesus comes in the flesh, God’s love is no longer this ethereal thing in the cosmos. Jesus models how to complete the circuit of divine love. Now, we know. Eugene Peterson puts it this way, “the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love” (1 John 2:5, Message). Christian maturity is living in the way of Jesus – living in the way of love. Practicing love is how we grow, yet we often feel resistance to letting our love mature. Today, take one step toward maturity by intentionally loving someone outside your circle. If you identify resistance, take note of it, but choose to step out in love anyway.
By Yvonne Biel