READ : 1 John 4:7-12
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. (v. 11)
“God is love,” John writes. It certainly sounds right. But what actually does it mean?
It means, first, that God literally is love. It is essential to his nature, for God in himself is a relationship. We do not make God loving, as if God needed to create us in order to have someone to love. In a healthy home, love flourishes long before children arrive because husband and wife love each other. Love flourishes within God, too, for the triune God is one in community. From all eternity, through all eternity, the Father, Son, and Spirit love one another. John therefore rightly proclaims that God is love.
But God is love in another way, too. He actively loves us, the crown of his creation. His love for us caused him to send his Son to earth as a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus suffered for our salvation; he died so that we might live. He took our place to spare us from endless shame, torment, and misery. That God is love shows us the reason why God went to such lengths to love us.
John’s conclusion is elegantly simple and clear: “Let us love one another because love is from God.”
God, you are love. You love us, too. Help us to love one another. In Jesus’ name, Amen.