In my sermon, I told the story of Denis Estimon from Boca Raton High School in Florida. Denis was a Haitian immigrant who came to this country and found himself isolated and alone at school and spent years eating alone.
As Denis grew up and grew in status among his peers, he never forgot his humble beginnings and the loneliness he experienced as a young child. Because Denis came to understand that he was loved and had esteem, he found courage in the love he experienced from his peers and then extended that to others.
This is exactly what the apostle John is talking about in 1 John 4:19 when he says that "We love because he first loved us." The love God has poured out on us is not to be collected and wrapped up in a cozy blanket to give us rest. Rather, God's love has been poured out all over us so that we can live free from fear of others and be the actual body of Christ as we express God's love, grace, and mercy to others.