God is love
God is love
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 NLT
These two verses John wrote are among the treasured passages of the entire epistle. They emphasize the origin of love that Christians experience when they came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Now that they are in Christ, they are expected to manifest the love of God. The love flows out of a strong relationship with God. John is not discussing the affection that family members have for each other. Rather, he writes about the love that goes beyond familial, it reaches out to others. It is “divine love” born out of our relationship with God who loved us first despite that we are in enmity with Him when we have not known Him as our Savior. “You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil… All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature…But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much” (Ephesians 2:2-4). God initiates love, showers it upon his people, and expects that in turn they express this same love to each other. Since God is love, and we have claimed a personal relationship with God, then He expects that we make known His love in how we live. This is a test of true Christian faith: “to love one another, for love comes from God.” This, is the distinctive mark of the believer. The person who is born of God becomes a window through which the love of God shines into the world. The believer expresses his love to his fellow man by doing for his neighbor what he himself wishes that others do for him. “Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Luke 6:31). His love is sincerely unselfish. John compares the believer with the unbeliever and observes that when real love is absent, knowledge of God is nonexistent. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love and personally knowing God are two sides of the same coin. “God is love,” these are the three words children learn at home and in church. We treasure these three words, for in them, we are reminded of God’s nature which is love. God did not just decide to love us at one point in time, no, God loves us for that is who He is, His very essence. Since we are recipients of God’s love, we share His love to others and in this way, we convey His message to this unloving world.