April 2, 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.


In this passage, the apostle John emphasizes the centrality of love in the Christian life. He states that love originates from God, and that those who love demonstrate that they have been born of God and know God (v. 7). In contrast, those who do not love reveal that they do not know God, because God's essential nature is love (v. 8). To illustrate God's love, John points to the Father sending his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (v. 9-10). This demonstrates God's love for us, not that we first loved him. And if God has so greatly loved us, we ought to love one another just as God has loved us (v. 11). Loving others is not merely a suggestion, but a commandment from God that demonstrates our love for him in return (v. 12). In summary, God initiates love towards us. As we receive his love and are transformed by it, we in turn demonstrate love for God and others. Love is not peripheral in the Christian walk, but utterly central as both the source and outcome of genuine faith.


God's love revealed in sending his Son should leave us in awe. The God of the universe, perfect in holiness and majesty, looked upon broken and rebellious creatures like us and loved us enough to send his only Son to rescue us. This love is almost incomprehensible, yet John says it ought to transform us to love others with the same sincerity and sacrifice. How often I fail to love others as I have been loved! I allow petty complaints to justify bitterness, self-absorption to excuse failing to serve, and apathy to smother compassion for those in need. Yet God's love necessitates a response - we must reflect his love to those around us tangibly. We must seek their good, desire their best, and act to meet their needs. We must lay down selfish interests for the sake of others, considering them as more important than ourselves. God's love is a gift, but also an invitation to participate in his work of redemption through sincere and sacrificial love. As we grow in understanding his love for us, may we grow in loving others. May his love shape our attitudes, words, and actions each day.


Father, thank you for loving me before I loved you. I stand in awe of your love demonstrated through the sacrificial death of your Son on my behalf. I confess that I often fail to love others as selflessly and sincerely as you have loved me. Please fill my heart with your love. Empower me to love my family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers with the same grace you have extended to me. Conform my life to the image of your Son, who loved me and gave himself for me. In Jesus' name, amen.

Generated Image(s)

"As I have loved you, love one another"

"As I have loved you, love one another"

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.