“We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. If anyone boasts, ‘I love God,’ and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” 1 John 4:19-21 (MSG)


1 John 4 included a prelude of verses discussing God’s love for people. Instead of love coming from people, it all starts with God. God took the first step in loving people but making a way to have relationship with them. God embodied the action of love. When people live loved, it changes everything about their perspective on life and people. Loving God is not a one way street. It requires the giving and receiving of love from God then turning around and giving it away.

We hear a lot about love. It has almost become cliché. As we learned last week, love starts at understanding that God loves us. However, love cannot include hate for our fellow man. Loving God may actually be easier than loving people. We get to love a perfect God and channel that love we receive into loving imperfect people. Isn’t it ironic that God would use this method as a circular lesson in teaching us to lead a life of love? Loving people can be hard and messy. Yet, in the imperfections and challenge of loving those around us, we get to reap the benefit that love brings. It brings healing and satisfaction. It cultivates an outward focus. It’s so powerful that a demonstration of love can change people’s lives. Instead of choosing one over the other, focus on how loving God and loving people work together. Then, you will come to know more fully the joy of God loving you.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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