Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
When we put that verse into context we see even more about why love is such a significant aspect of who God is. 1 John 4:7-13 reads,
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
Without God, we cannot truly love, because love is from God. God proved his love, demonstrated it to us, when the Father sent His only Son so that we could live. John 3:16-17 says it this way,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
We didn’t earn that salvation, we didn’t love God and He decided to reward that love. No, He loved us first, before we even heard of Him. He loved us before we were born. He loved us and came into the world to pay the price of our sin so we could live and so we could know Him. We didn’t have to stop sinning first before He loved us. He loved us already. Romans 5:6-11 in The Message describes it like this,
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
9-11 Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!
One thing that this relationship with God allows is our transformation to be like Jesus. Look back to 1 John 4:11-13, it reads,
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
The Father loves us so much, He sent His Son to give us life. Jesus loved us so much He was willing to die for us. The Holy Spirit loves us so much He is enmeshed with us to transform us into the image of Christ. If God loves us so much, we ought to be able to love each other, especially since his Spirit is in us making it possible. It is through our love of one another that people will recognize Jesus in us. It is through our loving that people will come to call on Jesus and be saved. John 13:34-35 reads,
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
God’s love is pretty amazing. His love is perfect. It is something we all aspire to while we are here on this earth. And if we are able to love the way God loves, we won’t break any of God’s laws (Matthew 22:38-40). But how does God love? What is perfect love? I know you think you’ve read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a a million times, but read it again. Consider each phrase and ask yourself if you live up God-love or if you fall short in some areas. And know this, we all fall short of God’s perfection, but He loves us enough to forgive us by Jesus’ blood (Romans 3:23-25).
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
God’s love is powerful. It saves, as we have read above. 1 John 4:15-21 describes some of what God’s love does.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 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. 17 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. 18 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. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 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. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
We abide in Jesus and are perfected (we are made more and more like Jesus). We gain confidence and know that we have nothing to dread on Judgement Day. God’s love casts out fear. We have nothing to be afraid of and nothing to worry about. Romans 8:37-39 says,
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Isn’t that awesome? Nothing can separate you from God’s love! Nothing can make God stop loving you. Not the devil, not another person, and not you. NOTHING! So today Believer, consider God’s love, bask in it and thank Him for His everlasting and steadfast complete love. And most of, pass it along to others.