Loving and being loved

12 09 2006

1 John 4:7-12

‘Without love — nothing!’ How does this principal from 1 Corinthians 13 work out in 1 John 4:7-8? Why can you not be a Christian without having love?

God is in everything. If you don’t know love, you don’t know God. If you don’t know God, you have nothing in your life but an empty shell of an existence. God demonstrates to us how to love one another. Interestingly, while He has modeled this for us, we struggle with being able to truly live our lives in that manner. Instead, we chose to love ourselves and live for our own earthly pleasures. Again, keep in mind — if you don’t have love in your life, you are void of God. If you are void of God, how can you be a Christian?

Where did your love relationship with God begin (v. 10)? How can you be sure that God still loves you? (Before you write your answer down, compare v.9 with John 3:16; Romans 5:8; then read Romans 5:6-11).

My love relationship with the Lord began when I was walking the furthest from Him. When I was focused completely on myself and not on his goals and objectives is when He stretched out His arm and took me under His wing. I was judging the Bible, the principles Christian’s live by, etc. I was challenging everything religion because I didn’t understand it and I didn’t have the love of Jesus yet. I can be sure that God loves me for a few reasons: the Bible makes it explicitly clear that the Lord keeps His promises. One of those promises is that He would bless me, love me and bring me into His kingdom once I let Christ into my heart and let Him become a central figure in my life. I can also be sure that God loves me because Scripture is clear on that (John 3:16). I am “in the world” so I can be assured that God loves me.

If God’s love is seen through his actions in your favor, how should you love other people (vv. 11-12)? What unseen resources can you draw on to enable you to love like God?

I should love others like the Lord has shown me love. He has always been there for me. He has presented me with the truth in all situations. He has disciplined me when necessary. He has comforted me when times were tough. Love knows no boundaries. I have to be willing to demonstrate that to the people I proclaim to love. The Spirit can, and will, guide me in ways to show others love. There is no greater love than helping someone find their path to eternity with Christ through Christ. If I truly love someone, I should be willing to share with them how they can find eternal salvation. Otherwise, they are going to go to hell and will be far removed from the Lord. If I truly love someone, would I want that for them?

How can you be confident that God will not stop loving you? (Think about again what you read in Romans 5).

God sacrificed His only Son so that we could be saved. That love is for eternity. I can be confident that God keeps His promises and He has promised eternal salvation for those who trust in Christ alone. Since I trust in Christ alone, I can be assured that God’s love for me is real and eternal.