1 John 4:13-21
This is how we know that we’re simpatico with God: God’s spirit is in us, and we are witnesses that God has sent Jesus to restore the world. God is in everyone who recognizes that Jesus is the child of God. They are part of God. We know and live God’s love.
God is love. Those who love are part of God. Something of God is in them. When the reckoning comes, it is love that will see us through. In perfect love, we are God’s image in the world. So don’t be afraid. Real love isn’t fearful. Real love banishes fear. Fear is a by-product of punishment. If you’re still afraid, you haven’t understood love.
Love because God loved first. People who say, “I love God,” but who hate others are liars. If you can’t love someone standing right in front of you, how are you going to love a God they can’t even see. This is the one and only rule: If you love God, love your neighbor.”
John’s God is all about the love. Love is the measure of every assertion, every action, every moment. Not convenience. Not expense. Not expedience. Not permanence. Not reputation. Not connection. So far as John is concerned, there are no excuses for not loving. So far as John is concerned, everything Jesus did was for love. Everything we do is either rooted in love or it has nothing to do with God.
But John’s kind of love isn’t some romantic notion. This is not about Valentine’s day. It means that when you see your neighbor in need, you do something about it. Period.