7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:7-12
Tonight the camp pastor taught from this passage. He said a couple of things that really jumped out at me. He said that if you don’t love others then you don’t know God. I think I always looked at that as if you don’t love you aren’t a Christian, but tonight I kept thinking about how if you don’t love then you have no clue who God is.
We are to love others not because they are anything special, and for sure not because we are special, but because God is special. If we can’t love someone it isn’t because we have a messed up perspective of that person, it is because we have a messed up perspective of God. If you can’t get along with someone and show them love it has nothing to do with that person, it has to do with what you know about God.
Because when you understand how much God loves you, and the price He paid when you didn’t deserve it, you can’t help but love.
The second question comes from verse 12. No one has seen God, but when we love each other. God lives in us. When we love we reveal God. So the question I asked my group was this. What sort of painting of God does the way we love each other show? In other words, how does our love for each other make God look in the world.
It was a pretty weighty question for the students and also for me. We have to be loving because our love for each other reveals God to the world.