1 John 4:11-12 (NIV)
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
We have included our Verse of the Day in previous commentaries over the past week or so as we have studied the love of God for us … and the command to love others to demonstrate our love for God. These concepts are imperative to our understanding of God, and they are foundational to the formation of our faith in Him. Though life is filled with questions and mystery, there is one thing that does not have to be questioned or remain unknown. We can always be assured of God’s love … because He has made it known to us! The Apostle John affords us great insight into what we need to understand in this regard:
1 John 4:7-21 (NIV)
Knowing God Through Love
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Seeing God Through Love
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Obeying God Through Love
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But complete love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made complete in love. We love because He first loved us. 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.
It is clear to me that we cannot comprehend the love of God without understanding and embracing what Jesus accomplished through His death upon the cross. The love of God has been demonstrated … it is seen through the blood atonement offered and accepted through His Son, Christ Jesus. As Paul articulated: “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Cf. Romans 5:8) Until we see the depths of mercy His love poured out upon the cross, we will not see HOW to love one another as He has loved us. Yes, I love how Paul urges us to imitate and practice merciful love: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Cf. Romans 12:1) Indeed, we will become humbled, and love others in truth, when follow the example of Jesus. I pray in our relationships with one another, we will have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (Cf. Philippians 2:1-8) Amen.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
When He had finished washing their feet, Jesus put on His clothes and returned to His place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. ~ John 13:12-17