1 John 4:7-8 Amplified Bible
God Is Love
7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] [a]love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. 8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.
Gloria. In Excelsis Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
I want you to take a few seconds or minutes, preferably the rest of forever, and meditate, ponder, and just think about the depths of love that Jesus has for you.
Depending on the day, perhaps you may perceive or you genuinely feel a barrier, because we may know all too well, how we often fail, falter, take our eyes off our King, and at times maybe even want nothing to do with Him.
But I’m here to tell you that in those exact moments, Christ’s all-encompassing love is yet all the more present and there to sustain you!
For He has chosen you, though you will most definitely fail, and falter and too, stumble, He called you his own, though you and I will flinch, and we all have a place at His table even when your gaze is not perfectly fixed on the divine host.
So do meditate, ponder and think about how Christ’s love for you and me is like an all consuming ocean that you and I cannot ever swim away from.
Do think about that He is the greatest joy in times of triumph.
Do think about that He is your deepest comfort in your utmost trying of times and sorrows.
Pray – Oh, what love He has for his children…Oh, what love He has for you!
So please join me today in praising God, and His Word, for his persistent love.
Praise God, that He continually shows us what love is even right now.
Praise God, that He first loved us which enables us to, therefore, go and love on others exactly where they are.
So today, the remainder of this week, and continually, let there be no shortage of love from the children of God especially during times we are all experiencing.
Ask Jesus right now, through prayer and study of His Word, through fellowship, to love others through you as He has so graciously covered all of you in his love.
What Does it Mean That ‘God Is Love’ in 1 John 4:8?
1 John 4:8 Amplified Bible
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
Love is a word that has taken on many meanings throughout the ages.
Innumerable writers, movie directors, music and dance choreographers and hosts and myriads artists alike have tried their best to convey the idea of love.
Though almost no one has the same definition, there is an underlying thought.
Love is a feeling and an action.
Love is what one person feels and does for someone else.
Even in the Christian faith, love entails many qualities.
1 Corinthians 13 is an entire passage devoted to the idea of love.
The chapter ends on the notion that love is both greater than hope and surprisingly greater than faith.
Here too we see that love is how one person relates to another, both in feeling and action.
The dictionary definition also describes how people relate.
With so many perspectives on the idea of love, an entire biblical passage dedicated to the idea, and too many songs, stories, and movies to count, love must be very important.
Moreover, this proves without a shadow of doubt we have all been affected by love in one way or another – love touches everyone – without any exceptions.
We also know that God values the idea of love because of how many times the word is used in the Bible.
In the original King James Version (KJV) the word love appears 310 times.
The frequency of the word will largely depend on the translation.
Important to note, the English word for love is split into different words in the original writing of the Bible.
The original languages used words to describe love including phileo, pragma, and agape.
When love is evoked in Scripture, the term is used to describe the way we talk, act, and our mindset toward others.
In the Bible though, love is by no means limited to human relationships.
In fact, the Bible informs us that the reason why we love other people, the reason we can understand love, is exactly this: because God first loved us.
1 John 4:19 Amplified Bible
19 We love, because [a]He first loved us.
God gave us the example and the how-to guide.
This verse comes shortly after the aforementioned verse from 1 John 4.
To understand the context of the words here, we have to first identify the passage’s author – John, an apostle of Jesus.
In this chapter, John draws a comparison between people of the world and people of God.
More specifically, he identifies that some people will claim to purport God, but do so falsely.
These are “false prophets” (1 John 4:1).
We can identify these people by testing their spirit.
One way to test the spirit is by examining someone’s ability to love.
After John makes clear the difference between false prophets and true believers, he admonishes us to love one another.
How do we accomplish this?
We look at what God has done for us.
John makes the claim that love is first and foremost defined by God’s choosing to love us, His children.
With this powerful and inspiring truth into mind, we should then in response, turn our heart to love one another (God’s children), the way our Father loves us.
He speaks confidently in detailing that God loves us, so we ought to love one another, but what does John mean when he says, “God is love”?
What Did John Mean When He Said ‘God Is Love’?
1 John 4:8Authorized (King James) Version
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this verse, we see that John equates God with love.
This metaphorical statement takes on a literal meaning when we consider the evidence of John’s claim.
In this passage, John mentions the sacrifice of Jesus for humanity–an act of love (1 John 4:10).
Since the Garden of Eden, God has acted on behalf of humanity, showing His love and support for His followers.
There have been consequences such as the banishment from Eden (Genesis 3), but God has maintained a loving relationship with people since the Fall.
The answer is evident in God’s love and all the stories that follow in the Bible where God acts on behalf of humanity.
These events culminate into the eventual Second Coming of Christ.
As God has remained an ever-present constant in the lives of humanity, so too are we supposed to show ever-present love to one another on an ongoing basis.
John states that we cannot love God and hate someone else (1 John 4:20).
If God has already chosen to love each of us despite our fallen nature since the beginning of time, why should or would we choose not to love someone despite an offense in the present time?
Obviously, this is easier said than done, but John makes clear “God is love.”
He drives this point further by stating we remain in love when we draw close to God, and as we draw close to God, the love of God abides in us (1 John 4:16).
The way God perpetually treats us in love, we should strive to treat other people.
How Does This Verse Affect How We Give and Receive Love?
John’s message to followers of Christ is a message echoed throughout the Bible.
A significant area where this is shown occurs when Jesus is questioned by a Pharisee.
“When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: ‘Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?’
He said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.’” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Jesus lets us know that the second greatest act we can do daily as Christians is love other people, while the greatest commandment is to love God.
If we are abiding in God, as John admonishes us to do, then we will not only seek to love God as Himself but will see loving others as an extension of that.
Interestingly, the Bible does not tell us to love ourselves, possibly because that action comes so naturally for believers and nonbelievers alike.
We can use this awareness then to change how we view other people.
Instead of maintaining a mindset of “me versus you” or “them versus us,” we can acknowledge the fact that we are all image-bearers of God (Psalm 139:13).
No matter our difference in faith, behavior, or physical appearance, we are God’s children and we should definitely strive to treat each other accordingly.
Three Ways to Love Others by Knowing that God Is Love
1. Encourage One Another
Proverbs 16:24 Amplified Bible
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.
The words we speak carry weight, for better or for worse.
When we choose to speak in a godly fashion, we can use words to encourage those around us: family, friends, coworkers, even strangers.
Pleasant words include gratitude, compliments, and any other type of speech that benefits the person hearing.
As we know that God is love, our love is not by any means limited to words.
We can also show love through actions that bring about health to the body of the person receiving.
2. Forgive One Another
Matthew 6:14-15 Amplified Bible
14 For if you forgive [a]others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
Holding resentment against another is not the proper way to act as a Christian.
God has chosen to forgive humanity despite our constant sinful nature.
Likewise, God wants us to exercise forgiveness for those people who offend us.
3. Pray For and With One Another
James 5:13-16 Amplified Bible
13 Is anyone among you suffering? He must pray. Is anyone joyful? He is to sing praises [to God]. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He must call for the elders (spiritual leaders) of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with [a]oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
A lot of people say expressions like, “I’ll pray for you.”
How many of them will stop and pray in that moment?
Scripture informs us that prayer has miraculous power.
If the words we speak to one another can bring health to the body, surely the words we say in prayer are even stronger.
When we love like God, we pray for those we love, and those we don’t feel as fondly toward because the Lord watches over us all.
If God is omnipresent, then the Lord is present in all of our lives, whether we feel or even acknowledge His presence.
Acquiring this disposition of love will push us to serve and love others even when we may feel like their faith is not where we prefer, and may even bring others closer to God.
Once we perfect loving people, we would have perfected and fulfilled the second greatest commandment.
This will prove not only God is love, but God is always with us and within us.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
May I Recognize Your Words Prayer
God of truth, sometimes I not sure if I’m actually hearing your voice, or if it’s just my own thoughts or even another spirit. Sharpen my spiritual hearing, Lord, so I can recognize your words when you are speaking to me. Help me know it’s really you, with no doubt or second-guessing. When I’m asking for your guidance in important decisions, give me your peace that surpasses understanding with your answer. Help me remember that your words to me will never go against your written word in the Bible. Please, Give unto me a clear mind and push out all my confusion. Amen.
Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.
Gloria. In Excelsis Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.