by Dawn Johnson
“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.” 1 John 4:7-12
How easy it is to read a familiar scripture verse through quickly and not soak in the message that is there for us. I would challenge you to read through this portion slowly and meditate on all that it contains for us.
There is a lot said about love in the Bible. John begins this portion with “Beloved” meaning he cares for these whom he is addressing—which is also us today. If you look here you will see that the word love and loved is used 13 times. The reference to “love one another” is used 3 times in these verses (Verse 7, 11 and 12) and several times throughout all of scripture. The two things that I want to share from this portion today are “God is love” and “love one another.”
God is love. This statement is often taken out of context or taken wrong. God loves me so I am ok as I am. But God’s love is so much more than this kind of thinking. God’s love is alongside all the attributes of God: His grace, wrath, justice, honor, mercy, etc. If God’s love is just, “God is love,” and I am ok as I am then there was no need for Him to send His Son to pay the debt for our sins upon the cross. Yes, God is love and He loved us so much that He gave His Son to pay the debt that we owed for our sin so that we didn’t have to. We must repent of our sin (admit that we are sinners), and turn to Him as Lord and Savior of our lives.
Because God loves us we surrender our lives to the life that He has designed for us. As we mature in our relationship with Him we conform to His image, giving up sinful ways and living our lives for Him.
Love one another. God doesn’t say that we have to find something in someone that is loveable in order to love them. No, He says “love one another.” We all know that some people just are not loveable but God says “love one another.”
So the source of love for us is GOD. The love that God has for us is agape love which is unconditional love. A love that puts others first. He gives us this love that He wants us to share. We can love others without loving what they do because GOD is love. If we have God living in our hearts then we have the supply of love to draw upon. It isn’t about us and who we are and what we do it is God living in us and working through us to His honor and glory.