John is known as the apostle of love. Let’s look at some well-known verses in one of his letters.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God….
—1 John 4:7-8
Unfortunately, this scripture has caused much confusion. We think this means that we should love other people so God can love us, and if we love others, it proves we love Him. Then He can love us back. No! This is what I call a dyslexic verse.
This verse says: If you know God’s love for you, only then will you be able to love others, and when you love others, you understand God’s love for YOU! You can only share or give what you’ve received.
I John 4:9 and 10: “In this was manifest ed the love of God toward us (This is how the love of God is shown toward us). Herein is love (this is what love is), not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (parenthesis mine)
When “the love of God” is mentioned, people think they need to do something because that’s what we’ve been taught. But it says the love of God is “toward” us. This is about how He responds to you, not you to Him!
God is not concerned about whether or not you love Him. What is important to God is: Do you know that He loves you? You can put on your mask and say the right things, but God sees your heart. He wants you to know that HE LOVES YOU! Once you know He loves you, loving Him is no problem. Understanding His love for you is what brings peace and changes you!
Most Christians have heard about the love of God, but few believe it. It’s easy to believe that He loved the world. But we question it as individuals. We find it difficult to believe that He loves us in spite of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings and failures actually cause us to believe we are separated from the love of God.
This is my charge to you today. Don’t just listen to what His love is about, believe it. Start persuading your heart of His love toward you today. Don’t wait a moment longer. Your very life depends on you understanding His great love.
Love: The Foundation
The truth that most people seem to ignore is, love is the foundation for everything that God did.
John 3:16 is a wonderful reminder of this.
“For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)
I John 4:16 tells us that “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
Love is not something God does. Love is who God is. Therefore, no matter what God does, Love is doing it. It makes no difference how or when you come into contact with God, you will be contacting love. There is never a time that God is not love. Have you ever opened your Bible and found that God has changed His mind, said He doesn’t love the world and takes back everything He’s ever said and done for mankind? No! He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Jesus Christ is [eternally changeless, always] the same yesterday and today and forever. —Hebrews 13:8 (AMP)