1 JOHN 4:8
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
To love someone you really have to know them, right? Would you marry someone you didn’t know? It happens in some cultures. I have heard stories of fathers selling their daughters to some man to be their wife. These young ladies enter this relationship fearful and unprotected. I don’t understand this type of arrangement, but it happens often. Love is not present because there is no knowledge of the other person.
John tells us that if we do not love (one another), we really do not know God. This word “know” is in the Aorist tense which means it happened sometime in the past. What hit me as I read this, though, is we can change that. We can get to know God, thus releasing the love that He gives us to others.
Why do we want our children to know God? Well, first of all we want them know Him for their eternal security. We want them to be saved. But secondly, we want them to know God to experience the love He has for them. So, how do we get our children to know God?
Listen parents, we model the love of God for our children. When they are young, before they can really read and have their own quiet times, we have to model it for them. As they get older, we disciple them and teach them dig in the Word for themselves. We teach them to disciple others. As they grow in their knowledge of God, the love of God just oozes out. It spreads to others. They can’t hold it back.
Are you oozing God’s love? You can’t claim to know God unless you are loving others. That’s as simple as John can say it in today’s verse. Don’t pretend to love either. God knows when you are doing that. That does not please Him. Don’t love to get anything in return. That also does not please Him. Love others as He does. Love freely and fervently.
O Father God, will You pour out Your love through me. I want to love others as You do. I can’t do that on my own. I know that.