1 John 4:8, 16 - God Is Love.

1 John 4:8, 16: God Is Love.

1 John 4:8b, 16b (KJV, NKJV, NASB, NRSV, NIV, ESV, HCSB, NLT) 
God is love.  

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, in this passage, is absolutely not human.  The human heart 
is a complete stranger to the kind of love described here. The 
definition for God's agape love can be found in John 3:16, it is 
self-sacrificial in nature; in I Corinthians 13, agape love is patient, kind, not 
jealous, doesn't brag, isn't arrogant, doesn't act unbecomingly, doesn't 
seek its own, isn't provoked, doesn't take into account a wrong 
suffered, doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness but in truth, bears all 
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and 
never, never fails. And last, agape love has Almighty God as its 
source.  Love is not God, God is love. We cannot exercise this love 
without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don't see it 
in your life, ask God for it today and be prepared for a radical 
change in your life. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom] 

   Let us consider an important aspect of God's nature and 
character"love. There are at least three things that are told us in Scripture 
concerning the nature of God.  
   First, "God is spirit" (Jn 4:24), which means He has no 
visible substance.  
   Second, "God is light" (1Jn 1:5), which means no darkness can 
dwell in Him. In Scripture darkness stands for sin, death, and so on. 
   Third, "God is love" (1Jn 4:16), which means that the energy 
which flows out from His being is that of infinite, eternal 
   When John wrote the words "God is love," it was no slick 
statement, since it was the first time in history that the phrase had been 
used in that way. People had believed God was love and had speculated 
about His benevolence, but now the categorical statement was laid down 
for all to behold. These words, in my judgment, are the high-water 
mark of divine revelation; nothing more needs to be said, for nothing 
greater can be said.  
   I often create a mental picture for myself of the angels 
peering over the battlements of heaven as John wrote these words. And 
then, when they had been written down, I imagine them breaking into 
rapturous applause and saying to each other: "They've got it. They've got 
it! At last they see that God is love." A sigh of deep satisfaction 
and great joy would have filled the portals of heaven in the 
knowledge that the greatest truth about God was now finally made crystal 
clear. The implied was now inscribed.  
   Father, I am so thankful that You have demonstrated 
categorically that the greatest thing about You is love. My heart gladly rests 
upon that glorious fact. I look forward to exploring it forever. In 
Jesus' name. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes 
devotional re Psa. 57:10] 

   When the Bible says God is love, it is saying more than the 
fact that God loves, or that God is loving, or even that God is 
lovely; it is saying that love is the power behind everything He does. 
Love is not merely one of His attributes but His whole nature. God is 
not only the Author of loving acts; He is love in the very core of 
His being. Our thoughts of God's love must be built on God's 
revelation about Himself in the Scriptures, not by projecting our own ideas 
about love onto Him. Let's focus, therefore, on what the Bible has to 
say about the God who is love.  
   First, God's love is uninfluenced. By this I mean that 
nothing in us can give rise to it and nothing in us can extinguish it. 
It is "love for nothing, as someone once put it.  
   The love which we humans have for one another is drawn out of 
us by something in the object of our love. But God's love is not 
like that; His love is free, spontaneous, and uncaused. The passage 
before us today makes clear that there is no reason behind the love of 
God for His people. If you look for a reason, you just won't find 
one. He loves because ... He loves.  
   No man or woman can ever explain why God loves us. To explain 
it would require that He loves us for something outside of Himself. 
And as we have seen, He loves us for ourselves alone. His love has 
its beginning not in us but in Himself. He is love's source, as well 
as its river.  
   O God, what security this gives me to know that Your love for 
me will never be diminished and never be taken away. Help me 
reflect on this and draw from it the inspiration I need to walk tall and 
strong through every day. In Jesus name. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus 
Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re Deu. 7:7, 8] 

   Although the love of God is clearly laid out in the Old 
Testament, why did humankind have to wait so long to have the message 
spelled out in such clear terms as John uses: "God is love" (1Jn 4:8)? 
People could not see this sufficiently clearly until they had looked 
into the face of Jesus. In the life of Jesus is the clearest 
revelation that God is love.  
   So few of us open ourselves to the love of God. We have more 
fear of Him than we have love for Him. There is, of course, a godly 
fear (or reverence), but that is not what I mean. If we fail to 
comprehend how much we are loved by God, then there will be no energy to 
turn the machinery of our lives in the way they were meant to turn.  
   Whenever I doubted the love of God as a young Christian, I 
was told I should go to Calvary. I never quite understood what that 
meant until one day I complained to God that He could not really love 
me; if He did, He wouldn't let such things happen as were befalling 
me. He gave me no answer but showed me the Cross. And as I saw His 
Son dying there for me, the scales fell from my eyes and I found 
love for Him flowing out of His love for me. I discovered what 1 John 
4:19 means: "We love because He first loved us."  
   Love for God is not the fruit of labor but the response of 
our hearts to being loved. It is not something we manufacture; it is 
something we receive.  
   O God my Father, save me from believing that my problem is "I 
don't love You enough," when the real problem is "I don't know how 
much I am loved by You." Let the scales fall from my eyes right now 
and let me see"really see. In Jesus' name. Amen. [Every Day With 
Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re John 19:17, 18] 

   When we perceive how much God loves us, an amazing effect is 
produced in our personalities"we begin to love like Him. We cannot help 
it. Love"agape love"is not the fruit of labor; it is a response. 
When we stand at the foot of Calvary, the place where the love of God 
is fully focused and caught up, the scales drop from our eyes, and 
our own love flames in response. We love Him because He first loved 
   Teresa of Avila tells how one day, going into her private 
room, she noticed a picture of our Lord being scourged before His 
crucifixion. She must have seen it hundreds of times, but in that moment of 
revelation she saw it as she had never seen it before. She saw God 
suffering"suffering for love and suffering for her. The revelation sent her to her 
knees sobbing in pain and wonder, and when she arose, she was a 
changed woman. The revelation of Calvary's love was the great divide in 
her life. She said that she arose with a sense of "unpayable debt" 
and went out to share God's realized love with others.  
   Don't try to manufacture love. Linger in the shadow of the 
Cross. The love of God finds its most burning expression there. 
Meditate on it. Contemplate it. Remember that heaven knows no higher 
strategy for begetting love in mortal hearts than by granting us a vision 
of how much we are loved, a vision strong enough to evoke a 
response in our hearts"and by that answering love begotten in us by the 
Holy Spirit, we are freed and purged and saved.  
   Gracious Father, I see that before I can love, I must 
comprehend how much I am loved. Help me be aware that in my heart I have 
the most aggressive Lover in the universe. I am eternally grateful. 
Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re 1 
John 4:10] 

   If we want lasting change, we must fill our lives with love. 
Why? Because love can change the unchangeable. Love is the most 
powerful force in the universe, because "God is love" (1 John 4:8).  
   John doesn't say God has love; he says God is love. Love is 
the essence of what God is. God is Father, Son, and Spirit in an 
eternal relationship of love.  

   Love invigorates. Love revitalizes. Love renews. Love 
refreshes. Love heals. Love strengthens. Love gives you energy when you 
don't have energy. Love empowers you when you don't have the power. We 
need God's kind of love if we are going to fulfill the purposes for 
which we were made.  
   So as you seek lasting change today, invite God's love to 
touch those areas of your life that need healing in a deeper way. Then 
look for opportunities to give that love away to others. 
   God's love can change the unchangeable so that we are able to 
love others with the love we've received. What a privilege! [The 
Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional re 1 John 4:12] 

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." [The One 
Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra re vs. 19] 


   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] 

   My unfailing Love is your "Fuel" - The best source of energy 
for you. This glorious source of strength is limitless, so it is 
always abundantly available. You tend to get quite focused on your 
health and energy. There is a place for such concerns, but they can 
occupy more and more of your thoughts. When you are preoccupied with 
the condition of your body, I slip from the center of your mind to 
the periphery. At such times, you are unable to receive much help 
from Me. The remedy is to repent quickly - turning away from 
obsessive thinking and turning wholeheartedly toward Me.  
   The more you focus on Me, the more access you have to My 
unfailing Love. This supernatural source of energy flows through you 
freely as you look to Me in trust. Not only does this increase your 
energy level; it also provides a pathway for Me to love other people 
through you. So let My limitless Love energize and empower you as you 
walk along your life-path close to Me. (Psa. 33:5; Phi. 4:4; Col. 
1:29; 1Jo. 4:15, 16) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young] 

   Put your hope in My unfailing Love. You live in a world where 
failure abounds - in governments and businesses, schools and churches, 
friends, family, and you. Instantaneous worldwide communication makes the 
failures all the more evident, all the more heart-wrenching. So the idea 
of unfailing Love is radical; there is no adequate model for it in 
this world. Clearly, such Love can be found only in Me - in the very 
essence of who I am.  
   Even the most devoted parent, friend, or lover will let you 
down sometimes, but I am the eternal Lover who will never fail you. 
This is possible because I am infinite, perfect God. Yet I became a 
Man - with human understanding and empathy. In fact, My compassions 
never fail. So find hope in Me and in My amazing provision for 
believers - salvation and righteousness that will never fail. This hope 
strengthens you and pleases Me. I delight in those who put their hope in My 
unfailing Love. (Psa. 147:11; Lam. 3:22; 1Jo. 4:16; Isa. 51:6) [Jesus 
Today by Sarah Young] 


   I have a favorite restaurant where I often meet people for 
lunch. I'm probably there three or four times a week, and I always 
order the same thing. As good as the food is, there's something about 
the restaurant that I like almost as much - they know me. They know 
what I'm going to order, where I want to sit, and what I'll want to 
drink. In fact, if I decide to order something else, they get a little 
shaken up. I love this feeling. I love feeling like I'm known, like I'm 
   At Celebrate Recovery, we can honor God by making others feel 
known and welcome. We can remember their names and offer a hello, 
maybe even a hug. We can let them know we're glad they came and hope 
they'll come back. These small gestures could make the difference 
between someone staying bound by addiction and someone finding freedom 
and wholeness.  
   Celebrate Recovery is a family, a big family with open arms. 
It's spread out and maybe a little crazy, but we love it when people 
come in and get involved. Most of all, this is a place where people 
can come to find a relationship with God and receive all the 
benefits that come with knowing him. Let's show God's love to everyone 
who comes through the doors.  
   Thank you, Lord, for using us to reach people with a message 
of hope and let them know that they can be whole again. In Jesus 
name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by John & Johnny 
Baker re 1 John 4:7] 


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}  

   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] 

   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] 


Most Important Decision in Life: 

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