Over the last few days as we’ve been focusing on Bible verses about love, I’ve noticed how many of these verses were written by the Apostle John. Today’s verse, I John 4:8 is probably one of the most often misquoted verses in the Bible.
When John writes about love, he focuses on Christians showing love to others and loving God by keeping his commandments.
He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.I John 4:8
Frequently, you will hear people quote, “God is love.” They are trying to say God is love and this excuses all my sins. But that is not what John taught.
God’s love is seen through all time in his faithfulness to his covenant people and that he doesn’t leave us in our sin. He brings sinners to repentance.
In I John 5:2-3, John clearly states that those who love God will keep his commandments. God’s commandments are not burdensome or difficult. They actually protect us from ourselves. In Matthew 11:29-31, Jesus uses the illustration of a yoke for oxen saying his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
How do we love? We keep God’s commandments. In Mark 12:30-31, it says to love God first which includes keeping his commandments, then love our neighbor as yourself. Treat others with the same kindness you want given to you.
What are some ways you can show God’s love to others?
- Speak truth with love (without accusations)
- Pray for them (tell them you are praying for them)
- Be generous (with your money and with your time)
- Meet their needs if you can (these could be simple things like taking them a meal or driving them to appointments)
- Encourage them with Bible verses
- Listen to them, let them feel safe to share their feelings and needs
You might not be able to solve every problem, but letting people know you care and you support them makes a big difference. Many times, you aren’t meant to solve the problem, just be there for others.
For further reading on love, I recommend a study of the book of I John.
Printables with these verses on love: