January - 1 John 4:7-12 “7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 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. 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. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Loves (verb) (agapao) "speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in an object which causes one to prize it. It springs from an apprehension of the preciousness of an object. It is a love of esteem and approbation. The quality of this love is determined by the character of the one who loves, and that of the object loved."
John uses the word “Abide” around 27 times in the book of 1 John. “Abide” is John’s word for “Fellowship” in this letter.
Vs. 12 “No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” - People do not see God and they may not read the Bible, but they do see and read the lives of Christians. They read your Christian home. They read this church. They read you as you interact with others at work or at school. If they see a remarkable, other-worldly love in those places—especially if they see love when they would expect retaliation—they see God abiding in you. If they see anger, bitterness, verbal attacks, and hatred, then we are failing to “testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world”
Brainstorm Ideas for applying this verse in our lives
John 13:34-35 - “34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Q: How can others see the unseen God who abides in us by the way we love?
- Compassion (Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.)
- Mercy (Luke 6:27-36)
- Forgiveness (1 Corinthians 13:5 “… Love… does not take into account a wrong suffered,”)
- Patience (Proverbs 15:18 “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”)
Q: Because “love is of God,” the chief way to reflect the heart of the Father is by displaying the love that characterizes Him. How do we allow His love to reach out to others through us?