Love Is From God

Love Is From God

God is love and He has loved us. In a self-centered society, God transforms love from selfishness to selflessness. Where many churches sound the call to love without doctrine and obedience, John sounds the call for love, obedience and doctrine. When we think it easier to love God than to love our neighbor, beginning with our own family members, John reminds us that to love God means to love those around us.

One of the greatest memories I have of Valentine’s Day is from my time in seminary when my friends and I helped each other focus on the love of God. We were in an accountability group together and all single at the time. Far different from the romantic cards, chocolates, jewelry, and flowers being promoted by the stores for gifts, we gave each other the reminder that God loves us.

In 1 John 4:7-21 the apostle John focuses the minds of believers on the truth that God is love. Significantly, John does not call his readers to “love one another” without telling them from where this love comes, “for love is from God” (1 John 4:7). Only those who have been born again spiritually and know God in an intimate, affectionate way, can extend true love to others.

The greatest expression of God’s love came in the incarnation. God loved us so much that He sent His only Son into the world to live a life of perfect obedience on our behalf and to satisfy God’s wrath on the cross. In light of His great love for us, we should love others. In fact, since God is invisible, we have the responsibility and the privilege to reflect His love to those around us. As He “abides in us” and “his love is perfected in us” we display His love to those around us (1 John 4:12).

The Spirit of God assures our hearts that we abide in God and He abides in us. Since our blind eyes have been opened by God’s grace to know the truth, we should be witnesses, teaching the gospel of Christ to those around us and confessing “that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 4:15). God’s abiding in the believer is transformational. He is perfecting His love in us and will bring it to full completion when we are glorified.

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