Idolatry-Discerning: Why love is better.
Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
Perfect love drives out fear.
Perfect love drives out fear. Who can love perfectly? Only God can. But even though we are not able to love perfectly, God commands us to love God and love others (Matthew 22: 37-39). And when we love we are somehow completing God’s love (1 John 2:5, 4:17). How can my love possibly complete God’s already perfect love? Since Christians are the way that God’s love is demonstrated to the world, we complete the picture. To talk about God’s love without seeing it in action simply isn’t enough for God’s love to draw people’s hearts to him. (See 1 John 3: 16-18.)
When we love others with the love that we have experienced from God through the Spirit we are able to defeat the forces of evil. The early church gained credibility and converts by their love for others. When many in the Roman Empire were dying from a plague, and no one would help the sick for fear of becoming ill themselves, the Christians put themselves at risk and ministered to the sick and the dying. Their love conquered opposition to the gospel. As one person observes, “At no other time in the history of Christianity did love so characterize the entire church as it did in the first three centuries. And Roman society took note. Tertullian reported that the Romans would exclaim, ‘See how they love one another!’”
The love that God has for us drives out the fear that plagues our souls and our relationships. And, when we are loved, we are able to love others and to show God’s love to them. Perfect love drives out fear.
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What does Spike discover hidden in the jungle?
A. The building supplies that have been disappearing.
Q. What does that prove?
A. That the Elder has been behind all the strange happenings at the building site.
Q. What does Spike want to do with the news that a storm is coming to the island?
A. He wants to tell the islanders that the storm is a warning from God to stop worshipping idols.
Q. What do they do instead?
A. They show love to the islanders, assuring them of God’s promises and helping them clean up after the storm.
Q. What happens when the Elder tries to banish them?
A. The islanders stick up for the missionaries because they showed love and they told about God’s promises instead of using threats to scare them.
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Why is love better than threats to show people who God and to defeat the forces opposed to God?
Because God is love (1 John 4:8). When we show love to others we are unleashing the power of God into the world and only God’s love can change people’s hearts and defeat spiritual opposition (John 13: 34, 35; Romans 12: 14). Read all of 1 John 4 together as a family.