READING: Daniel 1-2, 1 John 4
“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
1 John 4:8
It was one of the first verses I memorized as a new believer (or, to be more precise, one of the first parts of a verse I memorized): “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). That’s a message I had never heard until my friend first told me the gospel, and even now I do not fully understand all that truth entails.
It is amazing to me that the God who is powerful enough to create all things is also intimate enough to love what He created. That love, though, is so far beyond our human understanding of love that it’s almost impossible to explain it. It’s a deep, deep love evidenced in God’s sending His Son to die for us after we had rejected Him – but it’s also a love that demands we show our love for Him by obedience to His commands. It’s an undying love, a love without end, but it’s also a holy love that disciplines us when we fail to live up to His expectations. It’s a love that frees us from bondage to sin while also establishing standards and commandments to protect us from bad choices. It both pursues us in our fallenness and allows us to suffer the consequence of our rebellion in order to woo us back to our Creator.
That is, God is indeed love, but His love cannot be separated from His holiness and justice. To talk about His love without talking of His other attributes is to risk failing to see God for the entirety of who He is. When we “remain in Him” by following Him fully and loving others, though, we need not fear His judgment: “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment” (1 John 4:18).
- Rejoice over God’s love today, and love others in turn.
- Because you love Him, do all that He commands.
PRAYER: “Father, I thank You for loving me. Help me to love others.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Daniel 3-4, 1 John 5