Verses of the Week: I John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.“
Encouraging Thought: People need to feel loved, to be loved, and to love others in return. Yet no one can love another apart from God. In fact, in and of ourselves, we’re not even capable of loving God. I John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” God loved us first, and that love enables us to love Him and to love others. Without receiving God’s love, we’re unable to give love.
Verses 9 and 10 say, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Let’s consider that passage. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us…” In this refers to the passage “God is love” from the previous verse, and the word manifest means “to reveal, to display, to prove.” By sending His only begotten son into the world, God proved His love for us. According to verse ten, this is love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to pay for our sins.
Words of Wisdom: So if we take this passage of Scripture literally, we understand that a lost person is incapable of loving. I John 4:8 says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Or, in other words, he that doesn’t know God, cannot love, for God is love.
God displayed His love for us by dying for us. I John 3:16 says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Then Jesus said in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
So what exactly is love? We’re commanded to love, and love is of God. How, then, do we display that love? When Jesus commands us to love one another, what is He actually telling us to do?
If you look up the word love in the dictionary, you’ll get a secular meaning, which is based on emotion and feeling. But you need God’s definition of love if you are to keep Jesus’ commandment. So where do you find God’s definition of love? I Corinthians chapter 13. Let’s look at verses 4-7, which clearly defines God’s definition of love.
- Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind – Suffereth long means to be patient. Therefore, love is patient and kind.
- Charity envieth not – Love is not jealous or envious.
- Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up – Love isn’t boastful or filled with pride.
- Doth not behave itself unseemly – Love causes you to behave in an appropriate way at all times.
- Seeketh not her own – Love is not selfish, but always keeps the needs and desires of the other person in mind.
- Is not easily provoked – Love keeps us from being easily angered.
- Thinketh no evil – Love helps us to guard our thoughts.
- Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth – Remember, Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, love isn’t content living in sin, but rejoices in Christ and God’s Word.
- Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Philippians 4:11 says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” That is how we bear, believe, hope, and endure.
Regardless of what the world teaches, love is not a feeling. Love is an action!
I John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another…”