Isaiah 26 & 1 John 4

Isaiah 26

    In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

    “We have a strong city;
        he sets up salvation
        as walls and bulwarks.
    Open the gates,
        that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
    You keep him in perfect peace
        whose mind is stayed on you,
        because he trusts in you.
    Trust in the LORD forever,
        for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
    For he has humbled
        the inhabitants of the height,
        the lofty city.
    He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
        casts it to the dust.
    The foot tramples it,
        the feet of the poor,
        the steps of the needy.”
    The path of the righteous is level;
        you make level the way of the righteous.
    In the path of your judgments,
        O LORD, we wait for you;
    your name and remembrance
        are the desire of our soul.
    My soul yearns for you in the night;
        my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
    For when your judgments are in the earth,
        the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
    If favor is shown to the wicked,
        he does not learn righteousness;
    in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly
        and does not see the majesty of the LORD.
    O LORD, your hand is lifted up,
        but they do not see it.
    Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
        Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
    O LORD, you will ordain peace for us,
        for you have indeed done for us all our works.
    O LORD our God,
        other lords besides you have ruled over us,
        but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
    They are dead, they will not live;
        they are shades, they will not arise;
    to that end you have visited them with destruction
        and wiped out all remembrance of them.
    But you have increased the nation, O LORD,
        you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
        you have enlarged all the borders of the land.
    O LORD, in distress they sought you;
        they poured out a whispered prayer
        when your discipline was upon them.
    Like a pregnant woman
        who writhes and cries out in her pangs
        when she is near to giving birth,
    so were we because of you, O LORD;
        we were pregnant, we writhed,
        but we have given birth to wind.
    We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,
        and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
    Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
        You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
    For your dew is a dew of light,
        and the earth will give birth to the dead.
    Come, my people, enter your chambers,
        and shut your doors behind you;
    hide yourselves for a little while
        until the fury has passed by.
    For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place
        to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
    and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
        and will no more cover its slain.

(Isaiah 26 ESV)

1 John 4

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

    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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

    By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

(1 John 4 ESV)

1 John 4: Love is a distinguishing characteristic of a heart that has truly been transformed by the gospel of Christ. If we find great difficulty in loving others then we must question whether or not we truly know God and understand His gospel.

God's love displayed through the cross of Christ is the greatest possible expression of love with the power to melt the heart of every believer. Not only that, the God of this great measure of love comes to dwell within the heart of every believer. A failure to love others reveals a failure to truly know God or a forgetfulness to remember God's great love for us. May the God of love who dwells within us fill our hearts with His love and may it overflow onto the lives of those around us.