1 John 4:16-21

"We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. " 1 John 4:16-21

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?

13 Thoughts Shared:

Michele W. said...

By loving those that the Lord has so graciously bestowed upon me. The past few years the Lord has tought me to be more attentive to my family. I am more available. This has brought us closer together. I am also trying to be more quiet and still during my quiet times with the Lord. This is hard since I love to do the talking. lol

God Bless. I really enjoy your blog.

Tiffanie said...

I think that everything we do (seen and unseen by others) should be a testimony of how we love God. A bad attitude, even when no one is around to see it, is not honoring to God. I want to show God that I love Him all the time, so I'm working on the way I "act".

Mae said...

To love God should be the easily thing to do. I love talking with my God and he talks back by answering prayers.

Lynn said...

Hi Melanie,

You know I had not thought about sitting with God first in the morning as an offering of first fruits. Brilliant.

Wonderful post. Hugs.

Laurie Ann said...

What a precious post, Melanie, so full of the Truth and Love. One way I show my love for God is by trying to love others as God loves them. I try to see them as He saw me, a sinner who for whatever reason, He deemed worthy of His love. Oh, how precious is the love of God, my friend! I'm so glad you shared this today.

Laurie Ann said...

P. S. LOVE LOVE LOVE the new blog look! It's beautiful! Did you do it yourself?

lana said...

I really needed to hear this!
I LOVE the look of your blog...it is fabulous.

alihsee said...

Oooh, I love your new blog design! Thank you for your comments on my blog - much appreciated.

Loving God..."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" - this is so me! I do struggle with including God in every part of my life & make the excuses of being too busy or tired to study the Bible & pray. Thank you for the encouraging reminder that I need to be doing more to show my love for him. Blessings!

Nancie said...

Thanks for this encouraging post, Melanie. It is always encouraging to read of the way God is teaching you many precious truths and your sincere desire to walk pleasing to Him.

Your sharing is helping me to reconsider how I am loving God and others. I pray that He will enable me to put Him first in my life and spend more time with Him to seek Him, and also to show more love to others because I love Him. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. May God continue to bless you with a close walk with Him. Take care and God bless!

The Baker's said...

I love the new look, very cool. Thank you for the encouragement.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hi Melanie,
Loved your thoughts on agape love. Oh sweet LOVE... Imagine if everyone on the planet had this kind of love.
Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. It's easy to love the loveable, but ... -- and there's the thing, HE DIDNT PUT ANY BUTS in there. No unless's either. Just LOVE.
I always love visiting with you!
AND LOVE HOW YOU redecorated!! I should get a makeover too!

Amydeanne said...

oh oh oh you had me trying to highlight lots of points.. i really like the 3rd: Thirdly, we show our love for God by loving those that God has given to us.

That one is so hard sometimes, isn't it?

God Chaser said...

Beautiful! I have pondered your words so often Do I love God as much as I say-my actions does not always say I do. thanks for reminding me of the things I must do to show God i love Him from my heart and soul not just my lips.

PS I love your new look also.