March 5, 2017

Adult Bible Study Online

A current connection to each week's session

The Source of All Love
1 John 4:7-19

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Coming home from a short-term mission trip a few days ago, I noticed the compass in the pilot’s deck. I remembered that the compass has been an essential tool for any navigator, even before the time of Christ. I thought of its importance to navigators and pilots, as well as its limitations.

A compass is essential for determining one’s course. It gives the directions for where the ship or plane should go, and it helps lead safely to the point of destination. As long as the compass is doing its work and functioning the way it is supposed to, it is a direct or indirect help.

Sometimes the compass may work well, but other mechanical devices may malfunction. For example, Jet Airways flight number 9W-118 had a communications failure with the air traffic control tower as it flew in German skies.[1] Manmade devices at times malfunction. We need to restart these systems for connectivity purposes. But the communication of love never disconnects between God to us.

God is love. From generation to generation. God always has a crystal-clear love for creation and especially for us as God’s image. John expresses in his writings that God is Spirit (John 4:24), light (1 John 1:5), and love (1 John 4:8). Paul of Tarsus also pointed out to the church in Corinth that “these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). God’s love is precious and holy.

In order to fulfill God’s prophesies from ancient prophets, our eternal God sent God’s Son for you and me. True love is always shown in action and is dynamic. Two thousand years ago, God provided and sent Jesus the Savior for you and me. Yes, we are exhorted in 1 John 4:7 and 11 to “love one another.” Here we see the nature of God the Creator: God is love. Therefore, “we ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

Not only was love shown in the teachings of the Bible, but it is also shown when Jesus died on the cross at Calvary, to the extent of committing his Spirit to save you and me. The image of the vine and its branches is the best example of us in Jesus and how we grow in Jesus if we are connected spiritually and not just with the social issues of the day. First, we must have a vertical relationship with Jesus. Then we can have a horizontal relationship with other believers and our extended communities.

Finally, if we believe Jesus, we must believe there will be a judgment day. In order to escape the day of judgment, we must be transformed into the likeness of Jesus to share God’s love with people of various ethnicities, nations, and languages (1 John 4:16-18).

  • Are you loving one another regardless of your heritage, ethnicity, race, relationships?
  • Do you have confidence to escape the judgment on that day?

—Paulus Thalathoti,

© 2017

1. Soubhik MItra, “Mid-Air Scare: German Jets Escort Mumbai-London Flight after It Lost Contact with Air Traffic Control,” Hindustan Times, February 20, 2017.

Paulus Thalathoti is an ordained minister and the founding president of Peace Proclamation Ministries, an evangelistic and church planting ministry with those living in the interior rural areas of India. Dr. Thalathoti also serves as chairperson for Penn Bible Fellowship in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Sumatha, are mission associates with Mennonite Mission Network and members of Plains Mennonite Church, Hatfield, Pennsylvania.

This article supplements Adult Bible Study, a quarterly Bible curriculum for adults. Adult Bible Study provides in-depth, challenging Bible study from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective, written by an intercultural group of pastors, teachers, professors, and leaders across Canada and the United States. Sessions include daily Bible readings, resources for additional study, and free downloadable resources.

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