April 9, 2024


1 John 4:7-12 - 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.


In 1 John 4:7-12, the apostle John emphasizes the centrality of love in the Christian life. He begins by calling believers to love one another, stating that love comes from God and is a mark of being born of God and knowing Him. Conversely, John says that anyone who does not love does not know God, because God Himself is love. John then points to the supreme demonstration of God's love - sending His only Son Jesus Christ into the world to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that we might have eternal life through faith in Him. This sacrificial love originated with God, not with us. We did not love God first, but He loved us and took the initiative to send Jesus on our behalf. John then applies this truth, saying that if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God, but when believers truly love each other, it shows that God abides in us and that His love is being perfected or matured in us. In summary, this passage teaches that love is an essential attribute of God's character, love was demonstrated to us through Christ's atoning death, love is a defining mark of the Christian life, and love for other believers is both our duty and evidence that we truly know and abide in the God who is love.


This powerful passage from 1 John 4 gets to the very heart of the Christian faith and life. It shows us that love does not originate with us, but with God Himself. God is love - it is essential to His very nature and character. Everything God does flows from His love. And the greatest demonstration of that love was the sending of His only Son Jesus to bear the penalty for our sins on the cross. Jesus died as our substitute, so that through faith in Him we could be forgiven, reconciled to God, and have eternal life. This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us. What amazing grace! As those who have received this incredible love, we are now called to love one another in the body of Christ. This is not optional, but a command and expectation for all believers. If we have truly been born of God and come to know Him, the love of God will be produced in our lives and we will sacrificially love our brothers and sisters. Lack of love shows we don't really know the God who is love. But this kind of supernatural, self-giving love is impossible in our own strength. That is why John says that as we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. We can only love with God's love as we depend on Him and draw from the resources we have in our union with Christ. As we do, our love for one another becomes evidence and assurance that we truly do know and abide in God. This passage searching questions: Do I truly know, believe and rest in God's great love for me in Christ? Is my life characterized by practical, sacrificial, Christlike love for my brothers and sisters in the church? Where am I failing to love others as I should? The good news is that the God who calls us to love is the One who enables us to do so by His Spirit. As we humble ourselves, confess our lack of love, and depend on Him, He is faithful to forgive us, change us, and empower us to love others from the heart. May our lives be so marked by love that the world will see Christ in us and be drawn to the Savior who laid down His life in love for them.


Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing love You have shown us in sending Your Son Jesus to die in our place on the cross. We are astounded by the depth of Your love and grace toward undeserving sinners like us. We confess how often we have failed to love others as You have loved us. We have been selfish, impatient, unkind, and insensitive. Forgive us, Lord. Thank You that You not only command us to love, but You give us the desire and power to do so through the working of Your indwelling Holy Spirit. Help us to abide in Your love and draw upon Your endless supply of grace. May the world see the difference Your love makes in our lives. May they see us loving one another in a way that can only be explained by Your presence in us. Use our love to point people to Jesus. Make us a community marked by authentic, sacrificial, humble love. Help us to lay down our lives for one another as Jesus did for us. We cannot do this on our own, but we believe Your Spirit will enable us. Conform us more and more to the loving character of Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

The love of God, poured out for all.

The love of God, poured out for all.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.