If you haven’t picked up on John’s affinity for the idea of love, then listen to this passage in the middle of the fourth chapter:
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us.1 John 4:7-12 CSB
That is thirteen times he uses a variation of the word love in six short verses! He’s talking to Spirit-filled Christ-followers here, and he wants them (you, I trust) to know several things:
- We are to love each other in the Body of Christ.
- Love is from God.
- You love because you have been born of God and know him through Christ.
- Those without love are without a relationship with God.
- God is love.
- God showed us his love through the sending of his only Son into the world, so that we could live through him.
- This is love:
- Not that we loved God.
- But that God loved us and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our salvation.
- Because God loved us, we must love each other.
- In loving each other:
- God remains in us,
- And his love is made complete in us.
When we break it out like that, it is easier to see how we are doing in relationship to God’s love. I encourage you to read each bullet point and ask yourself how you’re doing on the love scale of your Christian journey. It’s not a matter of working your way to heaven, but it does help to remind us of the way we are to reflect Christ and glorify God in our day-to-day living.
I cannot read this passage without remembering a song learned long ago. I love the way this young girl did her own harmony on it! Take listen and see if it doesn’t help you to reflect on the love of God throughout the day.
Grace and Peace