1 John 4:16 - The Greatest Love.

1 John 4:16 - The Greatest Love.

1 John 4:16 (NKJV) And we have known and believed the love that 
God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in 
God, and God in him.  

1 John 4:16 (NIV) And so we know and rely on the love God has 
for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in 
1 John 4:16 (ESV) So we have come to know and to believe the 
love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love 
abides in God, and God abides in him.  

1 John 4:16 (GW) We have known and believed that God loves us. 
God is love. Those who live in God's love live in God, and God lives 
in them.  

The greatest truth in all of Scripture is this: God is love. 
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re 1Jo. 4:16] 

Love is evidence of salvation. If you are born of God through 
faith in Jesus Christ, you have His nature within (2 Pet. 1:4). Since 
"God is love" (vv. 8, 16), His children who have His nature should 
also manifest His love. The children should be like the Father! 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe] 

   Everyone believes that love is important, but love is usually 
thought of as a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action, as 
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows. The real test of our love for God is 
how we treat the people right in front of us - our family, friends, 
coworkers, and fellow believers. John isn't telling us how many people to 
love, but how much to love the people we already know. Our job is to 
love faithfully the people God has given us to love.  
   God is the source of our love. We cannot truly love God while 
neglecting to love those who are created in his image.  
   Jesus is our example of what it means to love. The Holy 
Spirit gives us the power to love. He lives in our heart and makes us 
more and more like Christ. God's love always involves a choice and an 
action, and our love should be like his. How well do you display your 
love for God in the choices you make and the actions you take? [One 
Year NLT SB re 1 John 4:7-11] 

The Standard
   Suppose you had a friend who was in serious financial 
trouble. What would you do for that person? Would you help bail him or 
her out or give financial counseling? What if your friend's problem 
was health related? Or worse, what if your friend was in trouble 
with the law? How far would you go out of your way to help this 
   In this reading (1 John 3:11-16), John illustrates how far 
Jesus went to save us from our serious spiritual trouble - sin. 
Through Jesus' sacrifice, we see what true love really is. As John 
points out, we now have a standard against which to compare our love 
for others.  
   Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. His 
death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins came as a result of 
his love. His selfless, sacrificial gift models how we should show 
love to one another (1 John 3:16).  
   To love someone means to be like Jesus to that person - to be 
selfless and to give sacrificially. Loving this way ignores all the 
enticements that normally compel us to be nice to people, such as the 
personal benefits we may gain from doing so. Also, loving others as Jesus 
did may not feel good all the time. This kind of love regards 
others' welfare above our own, and it may cost an awful lot (pride, 
possessions, time, money). It may cost everything.  
   If you truly want to reach out to others, extend to them what 
God extended to you: unconditional love. [The One Year Through the 
Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re 1 John 3 & 4] 

The Highest Dynamic in the Universe
   George Macdonald describes love as what is most precious in 
the Godhead. He writes that love is "a higher thing than the making 
of worlds and the things in them." He says this in exploring the 
many implications of the first chapter of John with its reference to 
Christ: "He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything 
through him.... The Word gave life to everything that was created, and 
his life brought light to everyone" (NLT). 
   For MacDonald, the deepest essence of God is the dynamic love 
between the Father and the Son.  
   We find plenty of scriptural support for that, including 1 
John 4:8, which states it simply and plainly: "God is love" (NLT).  
   The mystery of how we could be drawn into this love goes far 
beyond our grasp. Yet the way Jesus stayed in constant prayer to his 
Father gives us a clue. The astounding promise that we can become 
children of the heavenly Father means we can pray as Jesus prayed and 
invite his Spirit of love and truth to become dynamic in us... [The One 
Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra re 1 John 4:19, 21] 

   Power and grace from heaven come through prayer, and Hallesby 
urges us to avail ourselves of what God wants to give. He paints a 
picture of Jesus after his ascension to heaven, reaching his arm so far 
down to us that we who are small and sinful can reach it every time 
we pray. "Whenever we touch his almighty arm, some of his 
omnipotence streams in upon us, into our souls and into our bodies. And not 
only that, but through us, it streams out to others."...  
   "Just think if the Spirit of God could make the new nature 
within us so strong that we would automatically lift our hearts in 
prayer to God every time we met someone." Instead of critical thoughts, 
we would pray God's blessing on others...  
   Father, as I meet people today, help me to see them with your 
eyes. I pray for your Spirit to love them through me. Instead of 
judging others, help me to pray for them. [The One Year Book of 
Encouragement by Harold Myra re vs. 19] 

God is love. Like rays of light from the sun, love and light and 
joy flow out from Him to all His creatures. It is His nature to 
give. His very life is the outflow of unselfish love.... We are to be 
centers of light and blessing to our little circle, even as He is to the 
universe. We have nothing of ourselves, but the light of His love shines 
upon us, and we are to reflect its brightness.... If you are the 
children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be 
like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are 
God's children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. 
In Christ dwells "all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" 
(Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest "in our mortal 
flesh" (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same 
character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. {MB 77}  

   There is more to becoming a Christian than accepting a set of 
doctrines and striving to live out a particular lifestyle.  Being a 
Christian involves allowing God to become a living presence in your life 
... A Christian is a person who is possessed by Christ in such a way 
that feelings, thoughts, and attitudes are all changed.  For the 
Christian person, loving becomes a spiritual exercise because God is love, 
and the Christian knows that "every one that loveth is born of God." 
 God wants to indwell you and affect your consciousness for many 
reasons, but above then all is His desire to be able to reach other 
people with His love through you ... If you will pray and ask Him to be 
an indwelling reality and if you are willing to yield to His will 
in all things, He will enter into your consciousness and begin to 
effect a transformation in your life.  Most important, you will, little 
by little, begin to relate to other people as He would relate to 
them  You will recognize that being a Christian involves a commitment 
to treat others as He would treat them ... 
   If you want to do something that will cause you to become a 
more loving person, surrender yourself to Jesus.  He has a way of 
making lovers out of people.  [Tony Campolo; Time With God SB] 




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