In this 4th chapter of 1 John we read so much about loving God, abiding in God, but it is here in these last few verses that John tells us HOW to love God.
I love God. I am so grateful for all He has done for me and in the lives of my loved ones. God's love gives me confidence in life allowing me to face head on those difficulties that we all inevitably encounter. God's love gives me confidence in death as He has given me eternal life. At the same time, I feel unworthy of such undeserving, sacrificing love that I feel unable to fully express to God the love that I have for Him. And, quite honestly, I don't always ACT like I love Him that much as I get caught up in the day to day and the frustrations and just "human stuff" in general.
As I spend more time in God's Word and spend more time just being still and listening, I'm learning how to show God that I love Him. The first is that if I truly love God I will make time and I will not allow the other "stuff" to get in the way. Some days, unfortunately, this is so much easier said than done.... but, regardless, it is true. Our love for God and our thankfulness should move us in a way that we want to put Him first and that we do so as a natural part of our day.
Secondly, we show God our love for Him in the way we express our love to Him. God loves us with a type of love that, in Greek, is called agape love. This is a spiritual, self-sacrificing kind of love. God shows us this love regularly and most certainly showed it when He sacrificed His own son for us. We need to express this type of love to God, as well. We should love God for Him, not for what we can get from Him. We shouldn't be in this relationship with God because we think He will do much for us, or see that we are wealthy, or that we get the best job, etc. We should be in this relationship with God because of Him... because He loved us first and has shown that love to us so magnificently.
Thirdly, we show our love for God by loving those that God has given to us. In reading 1 John we are told many times that because we love God we should love others. However, we should also love others because that is how we can show God that we love Him. We should love others with the same type of love which God shows to each of us. We should be willing to help others wherever... regardless of the cost.... even if it means giving up everything.
So, now as I complete this fourth chapter in 1 John I ask myself "Do I love God as I should? Do I always put Him first? Do I love Him because of Him? Do I love others as He first loved me?"
How about you? How do you show God that you love Him?