Our Epistle this week is 1 John 4:7-21.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
In this passage the apostle John recalls the Great Commandment given to us by Jesus, that “the one who loves God should love his brother also” (v. 21). We are called to show our faith through the love of God given to others. Our words and our actions are the way the world can know the joy of a relationship with Him.
John reminds us that “the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (v. 20). God wants us to love each other in the same way we love Him. This is why Jesus tells us as part of the Sermon on the Mount “First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24). We cannot be in full connection with God if we are not in full connection with each other.
God calls us to show the world the truth of His love through the giving of ours. When we act out of anger, we grieve Him. Let His love and peace fill you today, and prove to others that love is the greatest gift.
Heavenly Father, You show us Your love in all that we have been given. Help us to share that gift with all Your children everywhere. Amen.