Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 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. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:7-21 ESV)
God is love, he manifested that love in the person of Jesus Christ whom he sent as the propitiation for our sins. God demonstrated his love and now calls us to live and breathe that abiding love.
We love because he first loved us. The Gospel is Jesus doing what we could never do, but now in Christ, we can love because God is love and he is in us!
- Why might understanding that God is love, be so crucial to our understanding of God, and how we relate to him?
- How does God show us we are loved?
- How do we know we are of God?
- What does John say about fear?
- How would your life be different if you truly lived without fear of punishment, rather you lived out of your identity as being fully loved by God?
- What is the biggest enemy in your life to living a life motivated by the love of God? Ask the Holy Spirit to help.