Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
1 John 4:7-12 NLT
Loving others is a theme in John’s letter. He reminds us in this passage that “love comes from God.” The ability to love others the way we should is not the result of self-discipline, personality, or temperament. The ability to love others is the side effect of us being connected to God. God is love—so if I am connected to God then love flows through me. God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to die for us. When we fully grasp that reality God’s love will flow through us to others as the “full expression” of God. Our world has not seen God and they can’t understand God. They have not experienced His love and forgiveness. But they can get to know God by the way those of us who are followers of Christ love them. We get to be a “full expression” of God’s love. John must have understood that some people are difficult to love. He must have known there will be moments when we are tired, distracted, or disappointed with life and our emotions struggle to love people. I have moments when my patience is exhausted, and I struggle to love people. When I realize this—and unfortunately, I sometimes don’t realize this until after I’ve blown it—I find myself needing to get away and spend some time with my Heavenly Father. I take time to get back into God’s Word and spend time in worship and prayer. The Word of God and Spirit of God are my major source of reconnecting with Father God. This connection is what allows His love to begin to flow through me new and fresh. We can’t really love others if we aren’t connected to the source of love—our Heavenly Father. It is like trying to toast bread in the toaster, but the toaster isn’t plugged in. You can put the bread in the toaster and push down the lever, but nothing happens because there is no power in the toaster. (Yes, I have personal experience with this.) Make sure you are plugged in. You can look like a Christian and dress like a Christian, but if you aren’t plugged into the Spirit of God there will be no love flowing through you.
Holy Spirit help me to stay plugged in to You. I want Your love to flow through me every day. I want to love others all the time so they can see my Heavenly Father.
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