1 John 4:7–8 (NKJV)
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.
What a timely reminder John gives us here. The world we live in is absolutely crazy sometimes, filled with anger, hate and everything opposite of love. John is telling us that we must love one another. Is that not exactly what this world needs right now?
Who Should We Love?
In Greek the first part of verse 7 is “those that are loved, let us love.” John subtlety telling us that you are loved by God, so we are to love one another. It would seem that the “one another” here refers to our brothers and sisters in Christ. So, we must love other children of God and we should do so in the genuineness that our Father loves us. When a brother or sister is hurting, we should be there to show them the love of the Lord. But as we see in Matthew 5:44, we should love and pray for our enemies as well. So we should love our friends, we should love our enemies, and rightfully, we should love everyone in between.
God Is Love!
Why should we love? The love the Lord has for us that John is talking about is agape love, the unconditional love of God. He does not care where we are, what our condition is, what we have done in the past, what we will do in the future, He loves us unconditionally. This is a little hard for us to wrap our head around sometimes. If there is nothing we can do to deter God’s love, we should be trying to emulate that in our lives. Because God pours His unconditional love upon us, we should be trying to love a world that is in such great need of it.
If we know that God loves us and we love God, as we should, that love should be visible to the world through us. There are going to be people that come into our lives that are very easy to love, that is kind of like a layup. Conversely, there are going to be people that are hard to love, they are like a 3-pointer at the buzzer with 3 defenders on you, sometimes it is just plain difficult. There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad when it comes to showing the world the love of the Lord. There are going to be days we don’t really feel like trying at all. But we have to examine our lives to see if that is where we are at consistently. Are we continually trying to show the love of the Lord to others? The point is, no matter who they are, what they have done, whether that love is reciprocated or not, we must love.
If we are loved by God, and we love God ourselves, the world should see that love. What we are being asked to do can be difficult. That person that wronged us in high school, we are to love that person. The person that bumped into our car in the Walmart parking lot and just took off, we are to love that person. That co-worker that you do not know that well, we are to love that person. Let the outside world experience the love that the Lord has already poured out upon you.
1 John 4:19 (NKJV)
19 We love Him because He first loved us.