1 John 4:7, 21-- Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God . . . And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.
1 John 4:7-21 provides us a wonderful foundation for understanding the importance of loving one another. Four principles stand out in this passage.
Principle #1: Our love for one another is to be an ongoing action--vs. 7. Thirty-five times in the Psalms, God’s love is described as enduring forever! When John tells us to love one another he is not talking about a one-time-if-I-feel-like-it kind of love. He ties love to God, Who writes the Book that has no ending, on love. Love is not to be like a light switch. It should not be based on feelings or on how we are treated. Can you imagine what life would be like if God chose not to love us? It would be like hell.
Principle #2: Love comes from God and God is love—vs. 7,8,10,16,19. Knowing this protects us from pride. We cannot manufacture love on our own. We have to ask God to help us to love others—our nature is to love ourselves first. If you want to learn how to love ask God to give you a loving heart.
A) Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God—vs. 7,16. The evidence of godliness is that we are continuously able to love people!
B) The person who does not love does not know God—vs. 8.
C) Love looks like Jesus, who sacrificed His own life on our behalf—vs. 9,10.
Principle #3: The way God loves us is the way we are to love one another—vs. 11.
Philippians 2:1-11 is a tremendous picture of the sacrificial, others-centered, me-denying, edifying, God-glorifying love, Jesus brought to earth!
A) If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is perfected in us—vs. 12,16.
B) You cannot love God and hate your brother—vs.20, the two are mutually exclusive. You cannot disfellowship another believer because you don’t like him or because he has wrongly treated you in the past. Unless he is willfully defiant in rebellious sin, denying fellowship defies 1 Corinthians 13:5 and Psalm 130:3 which clearly communicate that love keeps no record of wrongs. Thank God!
C) Loving one another is not optional—vs. 21, it is mandatory.
Principle #4: There is no fear where love exists—vs. 18. We don’t need to be afraid of what people will think of us or how they will treat us. We just need to love! The world desperately wants something in which to believe. The world is not impressed by hype it is hungry for hope. Both faith and hope run eternal. But God islove and that is why the greatest of these is LOVE! Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Alas, oh, love is dead! How could it perish thus? No one has cared for it: It simply died of frost.—Angelus Silesius
Christian love links love of God and love of neighbor in a twofold Great Commandment from which neither element can be dropped, so sin against neighbor through lack of human love is sin against God.—Georgia Harkness
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)