Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8, ESV)
This verse starts out with “anyone,” which is very clear. “Anyone” means everyone. It goes on to say that the person who does not love does not know God. Since you are an “anyone,’ how is your love for everyone? Your love for others will show your knowledge of God.
On the opposite side of these things, our lack of love for anyone shows a lack of knowing God. This may seem confusing, but it really isn’t when we tie in the next part of the verse. Why? How can John say that anyone who does not love people does not know God? Because God is love, so if we know God we are affected by his love. God doesn’t just do love. He doesn’t just do loving actions. He doesn’t just think loving thoughts. His very substance, nature, and being is love.
The truth that “God is love” is powerful for all people. Later in chapter 4, John says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16 ESV). “God is love” means God does love us. He loves you. HE LOVES YOU! Now that is amazing.
Apply this amazing truth to your relationships today. Who do you love? Who are you struggling to love? How can you see the people you love and the ones you struggle to love through your knowledge of God?
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, ESV)). Think about it: While we were still far from perfect, while we were still doing wrong, while we were still estranged from God, Jesus died for us. How can you “die” in your relational tensions? I’m not talking about a physical death – I’m talking about taking steps toward humility, steps toward dying to your rights and seeing the power of the Gospel in your life. Think of ways you can demonstrate love to others by dying to your rights and expectations, and truly serving and loving them.
Lord, thank you for loving me with this kind of love. I want to know and believe in your love. I want to abide in your love, and then choose to demonstrate love today to others. Help me to love the way Christ Jesus loves. …. (Continue praying.)
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