1 John 4:7-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we 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.
Remember this song, popular some years ago?
"Somebody loves you, I want you to know, Longs to be near you, wherever you go. Somebody loves you, and right from the start, Happiness came to that someone's heart. Somebody loves you, dear heart, can't you see? And that somebody..is me!"
Yes, we do.
In suffering and sorrow we may question God's love.
--Yet, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ..." (John 3:16). Jesus died for us!
--His love is genuine. Incomparable. Eternal.
--Jesus' followers are to show His love to others.
--Insiders in Jesus Need go out to get outsiders in.
Like was true of Jesus, no matter how hard one tries to love and please and win others, it may not return.
--Just do your best to love them. And forgive them.
"Beloved, let us love one another" (I John 4:7).
--Why? Because Jesus does. Tells us to. It pays.
--"Everyone who loves is born of God; knows God."
--God's love is the highest, agape-type; pure, holy.
--To be demonstrated and displayed in us all.
A Christian was asked by a co-worker what it is like to be "born again" as a saved follower of Jesus.
--With a smile she replied, "It's like being a pumpkin in the patch. God picks you out and brings you in, washes off all the dirt. Scoops out the yucky stuff; removes the seeds of doubt .. hate, greed .. selfishness and sin. He carves each of us a lovely new, simling face; puts His light inside us, so we shine for the world to see we belong to God."
--Not a bad definition of what God's love can do.
For broken hearts His love heals, helps. Gives hope.
--Helps us know whatever comes, the Lord is with us.
--To remember that the Lord is the Source of love.
--"For God is love." To love others as He loves us.
--John speaks of the love of Jesus that changes us.
John is speaking for God, "let us love one another - for love is of God." God bestows it, for He is love.
--God is good to all, sends the "sun to rise on the evil as well as the good; and sends His rain on the just as well as the unjust." You see, God is fair.
Jesus taught all that we should live godly, in love.
--I grew up in a loving family. Daily ugs, prayer.
--Make your home so loving, children and others would regret leaving. And look forward often to visit.
--Where children may not always have their way but to always have their say - to listen to their needs.
--With a family altar, grace at meals, Bibles read.
A little boy got a new baby brother; in joy, he told all he could about it, adding, "but my Mommy and Daddy still love me, as much as ever - like God does."
--That lad had been well taught, in his home.
--Share it! There's enough love to go all around.
As we live in love with others daily, we show Jesus in us - with only good memories when we, or they, leave.
--"Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
--"He who does not love does not know God" (John 4:8).
--That is pretty plain, without any misunderstanding.
--Beyond your parents, your spouse, and children, I'm asking, Do you love the Lord Jesus? And others?
Here in John 4 we are focused on a sublime love.
--Dear friend, no one ever knew anything about such a sublime love until God told us, and Jesus revealed it in His life and cross! He's the "Prince of Peace."
--It does not come natural, my friend. No, no.
--By nature, everyone of us is a sinner. Selfish.
We see so much of those, some to please their type of god; but who murder innocent people, and, take lives of little children, strapping bombs to their backs.
--Cruel cowards. We see them in drug cartels, too.
But the Bible is a love-story, Genesis to Revelation.
--"In this is love, not that we loved God, but He loved us and sent His Son to (die for) our sins" (10).
--No great love than Jesus! No better Savior.
I John 4 tells us how to love, as "He loved us."
--"If God so loved us, we ought to love one another."
--How? "As Jesus loves us." To love as He does us.
If we did, what a better world we would have.
--We can. We ought, else God would not command it.
--Sure, it's hard to love addicts, sinners, or enemies, or somebody who does us wrong, or unfriendly.
--But God knows they need it - more than some other.
We fail. So if a problem, go humbly to make it right.
I read of a 7 year old boy who gave a rare-type blood to save his injured sister's live.
--On a gurney beside her, wondered when he would die?
--As each drop flowed through the tube, he knew that it was to save his sister's life. That he knew.
--All the while he thought it was going to take his!
--No one had told him differently! So great a love!
--If they had, it would have made no difference, that boy said; for he was willing to give his life that his sister might be saved. That is sublime love.
--That is a love like Jesus, for you and me.
Then, let us strive for a steadfast love, like God's
--We see it bound in the Bible, embodied in Jesus.
--Ponder Christ's life in the Gospels, my friends.
--Against all manner of temptation - by the devil.
--Against all manner of foes - of flesh and spirit.
--Against all who doubted .. denied .. betrayed.
--Against all odds of religious leaders - or a mob.
--Jesus is steadfast in His love - for Father and us!
--It is my deep desire, for myself and all the world.
Jesus has love that will not let you go. He abides.
--He promised, "Lo, I am with you always."
--He will not fail, or falter. Can save any of us.
--More to be trusted than the rising of the sun.
He does not rail on us, beat us down, if we fail.
--Rather, He is there to pick us up, if we ask Him.
--Takes our broken pieces. Gives His unbroken peace.
--I need a God like that - steadfast .. never fails.
--How about you? Are you in His fold of sheep?
A Christian Indiana farmer was trying to raise sheep.
--However, a neighbor's dog was killing them off.
--How do you handle a thorny issue as that? Prayer!
--He didn't want to lose a neighbor - or more sheep.
--He offered the neighbor's children each a lamb.
--Kids, and parents, delighted with their gifts.
--He closed, "You may want to enclose the dog for it may not take too kindly to the lambs." It worked!
--The farmer never lost another sheep! Kept peace.
Prayer, not lawsuits, barbed wire, anger, guns!
--Our Savior in His loving guidance can settle differences, any kind, anywhere, for anyone.
In the Epistle of I John God is described three ways.
--"God is light" (1:5). "In Him no darkness at all."
--"God is love" (4:8). Love in its holiest, finest.
--"God is life" (5:11-13), "Who has the Son has life."
--Indeed, "There is no fear in love" (I John 4:18).
--Do you have any fears? "Fear not," Jesus said.
--Come to Christ, give them all to Jesus, Who cares.
Finally, God's love is ever a seeking love.
--The Lord is seeking you, me, all others, all over.
--He wants to forgive us. Save us. Lead. Comfort.
--He is the "Good Shepherd Who cares for His sheep."
--Our gracious Triune God - Father, Son, Spirit - has done His part .. but have we .. done our part?
--Have we responded? With all our heart? To obey?
Some forget to remember all Jesus has done for them.
--As God, Jesus came as the Babe of Bethlehem, to be born in a manger .. of a virgin; lived without sin!
--He went about healing, raising the dead, doing many miracles of all kinds .. then going to the cross.
--He took our place there! Dying for sinners as we.
--Praise God, the third day, Jesus arose! Alive!
--Gave full proof He is God, for 40 days revealed.
--Then, ascended back into heaven, to pray for us.
--Preparing a place in heaven for us, forever!
--Jesus has love enough to forgive! May we, others?
Love beats fussing. Failure. Enmity. Lostness.
--Share His holy love!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 61