Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God… God is love.
1 John 4:7-8
The one word that best captures the heart of God’s character is love. Not once, but twice, in today’s reading the apostle John says plainly that “God is love.” Love is a reflection of who God is at the core of his being.
In connection with this, love is actually the one fruit of the Spirit. In Paul’s original text the word for “fruit” is singular (Galatians 5:22), and all the other words that follow “love” in that sentence—“joy, peace, patience, kindness,” and so on—are qualities of love. We find more of those qualities in other passages, such as 1 Corinthians 13 (see July 5). Another way we could say this is that all of these qualities flow out of love.
How did God show his love to us? “He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.” Jesus came to die for us, paying the price of our sin, so that we could have new, full life with God.
John then explains, “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Have you thought of love this way? In our relationships with people, we’re usually kind and gracious to those who have been that way to us. But how do we usually treat people who ignore us or don’t care about us? How do we deal with people who hurt us? What if “we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister”? We have “this command: Those who love God must also love one another.”
Thank you, God, that at the very core of your being you are love. Express your love through me today to all the people I meet—whoever you place in my path. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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