1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
Hello everyone, for the past couple verses we have examined God’s love for humanity and His grace that saves us from our sin and separation – such Good News! We can rest in this truth knowing that God’s plan for our restoration (and that of the world) does not cost us anything, nor does it require any work on our part. Jesus has paid our debt and we are set free.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What is our response to God’s love for us?
1 John 4:19 gives us that response: We love because he first loved us! Since there is nothing that we can do to earn His love, the playing field is leveled. All of humanity is in the same boat, which is humbling. We are now free to see every single person as a child of God that is loved and in need of a savior. Once we are able to see people through the lens of God, we cannot help but be filled with love and compassion, desiring that each person understands His love and free gift of everlasting life.
In other words, it is impossible to know God and not love others. Once we receive God’s love and believe in the work that was done on the cross, this love pours out of us. It’s a light shining in the darkness.
1 John 4:20-21
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
These verses that follow 1 John 4:19 illustrate our love in a practical way. John is reminding us that it is easy to say that we “love God” but then continue living in the world selfishly (without love for our neighbor). But just as 1 John 4:19 explains, our love is a response to God’s love for us. That response should be seen in the world.
His love shines through us in ways that make us notably different to the world. This “difference” creates curiosity and stimulates conversation as others seek to learn what makes you different.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This description of love brings peace to my soul. I am overwhelmed with JOY when I reflect on how God’s love for us shapes our lives and the lives around us. May you be blessed this week as you bless others through the love of God that is pouring out from you.
My prayer is that you would lean into His love in everything you do and encounter. We are constantly distracted by the world and prone to wander, leaning on our own strength to carry us through the day. But remember, God is with you!
1 John 4:10
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
In Christ’s Strength Alone,