I have been studying the Bible, teaching and preaching, for over 30 years. After all these years it still amazes me how God speaks through His Word and teaches you new things. Last night, while teaching through 1 John 4, God showed me something new.
John is known as the “disciple of love” because he writes about it so much. In 1 John 3:11-24, he really stresses the need to love as Jesus has loved us. Continuing with that theme, John writes, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and gave his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). That verse, in and of itself, says a lot. To me, John is saying that no matter how much we think we love God, our love for Him pales in comparison for His love for us. His love for us completely trumps our love for Him. His love for us makes our love for Him seem as if it is nothing. The Apostle Paul illustrates God’s astounding love for us by writing, “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
God’s love for us is totally amazing and impossible to explain!
But that’s nothing new. I have heard that my entire life. I know God loves me.
You would expect after trying to tell us how much God loves us that John would say something like this: “Because God loves us so much, we should love God with all that we have. God’s love for us should motivate us to live our lives for Him and serve Him with our whole hearts.”
But that is not what John says! John doesn’t say anything about our love for God.
What John says is, “Since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11-12).
Amazing! Before God’s love for us motivates us to love God more, it should motivate us to love others more. If the only thing God’s love for you does is cause you to love Him more then you have not yet grasps how much God truly loves you. God’s love for me should motivate me to love others more so that others will know how much God loves them and God’s love for me can be perfected.
Think about it and meditate on it: The reason God loves you is not so you can love Him, but that He can love others through you.