Beloved, let us love one another: for God is love, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love, Beloved let us love one another! 1st John 4:7&8
How many of us know/ remember this song above? It was one of Sunday Schools songs that teachers would drum down our heads. For them maybe it was a song, but for the children it was a great way of memorising 1st John 4:7&8. Anytime they were called to say a verse in the bible, this was one of the sure verses they would pour out with pride.
But while it’s a song for some and a memory tool for others, 1st John 4:7&8 is one of the most profound verses in the bible.
As Christians our one goal, desire and pursuit is knowing our Almighty Father. We seek to do this in different ways; Praying, Reading our Bible, Christian books, going to Church and learning about Him, Word study etc etc etc. And all these methods certainly lead to knowing God more.
But lets explore another way of knowing God through 1st John 4:7&8. The New Amplified version (AMP) quotes it this way;
7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. 8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
The Message Version says;
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.
So we can conclude that according to 1st John 4:7&8, one way to know God is by loving one another? DO YOU AGREE? If yes, then you also agree that this is Love way is powerful? Because it says if we don’t love one another, then we can’t say we know God… WOW!
And what exactly is this kind of love we are talking about? What does it entail? Let’s go to 1st Corinthians 13 #TheLoveChapter! Verses 1-13 says;
The Greatest Gift
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.`
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The Message version says it so interestingly;
The Way of Love
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
All these scriptures above are very popular scriptures. Almost all Christians know them, yet do we really KNOW them? Do we realize the depth of what they signify? Do we understand the kind of Love that is required of us as we live one with another?
- The Love that asks us forgive every wrong done to us, no matter what it is…
- The Love that requires daily sacrifice on our part as we live with one another…
- The Love that does not judge or condemn…
- The Love that always believes in others, even they seem and act in the most unlovable ways…
- The Love that gives, keeps giving and does not tire…
- The Love that doesn’t try to prove itself as better than others…
- Love that holds no grudges…
- Love that keeps no malice nor strife…
- The Love that is expressed in patience and perseverance…
- The Love that is kind and gentle…
- The Love that always seeks how to help out…
- The Love that Loves enemies…
- The Love that never gives up…
And so much more….! This Love Sometimes seems unattainable. We wonder can we really love like this? Is it possible?
For God to have asked us to Love, yes we certainly can love like this. And remember it’s not a function of your will power, it’s the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by His Spirit of Love- (Rom 5:5), (2nd Tim 1:7)
We will continue from here tomorrow, talking about the Spirit of Love. For now let’s re-examine our Love walk as we begin a new week. What are your thoughts on this? We would love to hear from you, do leave your comments below.
Have a loving and fruitful new week.
God Bless You.