Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No 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 4:11-12
It is interesting that John, who along with his brother James, was known as one of the “sons of thunder” early in his life, but would become known as the disciple of love much later in his life. The love that John talks about throughout much of his letter, that we know as 1 John, and in today’s passage is an aspect of the Holy Spirit’s fruit, but it is also something that we are responsible for developing and nurturing ourselves. And this why John tells us and expects us to love others and to show love with practical action that seeks to benefit others. The love that John is talking about is not just feelings of concern, but it is deliberate choices to help people with their needs. There are three reasons that we are to show this kind of love: (1) Love is the very nature of God, which he showed by giving his own Son for us, and we share his nature because we are born of him. (2) Because God loved and loves us, we who have experienced his love, forgiveness and help are obligated to help others, even at great personal cost. (3) If we love one another, God continues to live in us and his love is made complete in us.