“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8 He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 AMP
There are people who claim to be Christians and they claim to know God and yet they don’t love other people. The Bible says that if you do not love others, that you do not know God. If you say that you know and love God, people may believe it initially, but after a while, when they see that you don’t walk in love or practice love toward others, they will realize that you really don’t know God or love Him.
In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 AMP
God says He loves you and me, and He showed it. God’s love is so generous that He did not hesitate to give His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for us. He did not have ten Sons to choose from—He only had one, and that is the One He sent. He displayed exactly how much He loved us when Jesus hung on the cross. If you ever wonder if God loves you—remember the Lamb that was slain.
Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another.12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! 1 John 4:11-12 AMP
When you realize how much God loves you, the least you can do is to show love toward others as well. God has forgiven you of so much and shown so much love to you, and on top of that, He has poured His love into your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). He expects you to receive His love and mercy and to turn around and show love and mercy to others. People on earth haven’t seen God and cannot see God. They can only see the nature and character of God in those who are born of God. When you love people, they see God in you and they come to know Him. If you are a Christian, you have a divine responsibility to love people so that they can experience the love of God through you and so that they can come to know Him too. You will be held accountable before God for how you represented Him on the earth. If you do not love others, you have abdicated your responsibility and call.
And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. 17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:16-17 AMP
The more you walk in love, the more God makes His home in you and the more you come to know Him and the more you become like Him. When you walk in love as a way of life, love is perfected in you. Because you die to your flesh and selfishness and become more like Jesus, the more confidence you will have for the Day of Judgment. Because you walk in love, you judge your own heart and life and you do not judge others—therefore you have no fear of being judged on that Day.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].1 John 4:18 AMP
When you understand how much God loves you and you accept His love and yield yourself to Him, you lose your fear of being punished by God. You realize that because He loves you so much, He has completely forgiven you and not one trace of your sin remains.
We love Him, because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. 21 And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also. 1 John 4:19-21 AMP
The Word of God is plain—if you say you love God and you hate your brother—you are a liar. If you can’t love the brother you see, how can you love God Whom you can’t see? We, who love God, have a command from God—that we love our brother. You are ordered by God to love your brother and you have no other options, but to obey Him.