1 John 4:7-14
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. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Examine / Explain
Θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν = God is love. God is agape love. To agape someone that full intentions to show someone full commitment with no expectation of a love in return. Agape is a sacrificial love that shows the other person a level of love that is truly humbling. In this passage, John is calling us to agape one another. For in God’s expression of agape, He sent His son to pay the price for us on a cross. And if we claim to be believers grounded in a firm foundation of God, then we should be living examples of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. We have the capability to love sacrificially because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. And in our agape of one another, we testify to the love and power of God through Jesus as the world’s savior.
How do I apply this to my life?
How do I treat God’s image bearers? I understand that we carry the image of our parents, and we are born into this world with a sinful nature, and we are not capable of bearing God’s nature or image until we are believers. And I also understand that every human born on this earth looks human. We came from the same origin. Adam and Eve. It doesn’t matter what continent you live on or what culture you most physically resemble. You came from God, and we are to sacrificially love and point each other to our creator because of the Spirit living in us. How are we doing? What does our fruit look like? Do I only agape those who look like me? Do I only agape for those who believe like me? I know there is evil out there, and we should be on guard, but what does my heart do when I see someone who doesn’t look like me? Does it see them as someone who needs Jesus or only as someone not worthy of my time, talent, or treasure? I like to think I do well with this. I want to think that going out of my home country gives me some perspective of being the odd one out. Not to the extreme of a country that doesn’t have Americans or even that there were a lot of English words on signs. But the fact I felt alone. There was so much unfamiliarity in navigating daily life. We are strangers and aliens in this world, and I felt like a stranger and alien in another country. I had to rely on the good nature of people to get around the city. How about the lost who don’t have the actual good nature of God in the Holy Spirit living inside them to navigate this strange land? We are to be that light for them. We are to shine the agape love of Jesus for them. How are we doing as THE Church?
What is my response?
Father, help me look in the mirror at my heart and soul. Where am I lacking in this area? How am I not living sacrificial to others? What could I do better for those who don’t know You to find You? Can I say that the fruit coming out of me displays an abiding in each other? If not, change me. Expose the areas that need help. Put reflections of You in my life that will point out my shortcomings. Father, thank You for Your Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for salvation! Thank you for the opportunity to love others well. Amen.