God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
- Jealousy is not sin, it is an emotion. What you do with that jealousy determines sinful action or not…
- There is a difference between being jealous FOR and jealous OF. A jealous FOR mindset is others-focused and about showing love. A jealous OF mindset is selfish, envious, and about fear and control. If God envious? Is God selfish? Does God wish ill towards others? Absolutely not! God is jealous FOR his people (including you) and responds to his jealousy with an intense love, not in fear or threats of harm…
- In every instance in which God called himself a jealous God, it was in the midst of idolatry. Idolatry is when we place anything in the position where God is supposed to be. In the Bible, it was often actual idols and graven images that people worshiped. Today, it could be many things: our jobs, money, possessions, relationships, our image, a hobby that takes all of our time, and many more.
- Yet notice how God responded to his jealousy. Though we often respond in anger, fear, and a desire to control, God responded by sending Jesus to earth for us that we might live through him, and that he would be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
- We know we are called to love others, but do you know we are called to love others with a “jealous FOR” love? We cannot do this without first understanding God’s jealous love for us.
God’s Jealous Love, 1 John 4:7-21
- Love is from God (v. 7)
- To know God is to know love, for God IS love (v. 8)
- This is how he showed his love: He sent Jesus, his one and only Son, into the world that we might live through Him (do as he did, speak as he spoke, love as he loved)
- This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. It’s easier to love God because He is God and is worthy of it. Yet God loved us, and loves us still, even when our actions are not worthy of it (While we were yet sinners…). He gave EVERYTHING before we gave ANYTHING
- Hebrews 1:1-4 tells us that Jesus is the EXACT imprint of the Father. We often think of our situation as Christians and think, “if it wasn’t for Jesus, God would strike us down!” The reality is that God took it upon himself to show the depth of his love for us! In Jesus, we see his nature and character: that he would as soon take all of our hurt, deserved, or not, upon himself than to see us suffer because of sin! Wow!
- Since God so love us, we also are called to love others, and with the same type of jealous FOR love. If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete. It is not our love for God that makes us complete, but loving others with the same love God loves us with. How can we love others with this same love in which we’d as soon take on the suffering of others to see them set free?
Jealous Love for Others
- Apostle Paul once said he would rather be cut off from heaven if he could see his brothers (fellow Jews) saved. He was willing to give up heaven to see others saved! We often won’t even give up our seat in church!
- We can’t do this on our own, so he gave us his Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, we come to know and rely on the love God has for us.
- When loving like this, love is made complete in us. So much so that there is full assurance on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him…That’s a good trade! As Jesus was loved by the Father, so too are you loved by the Father. There is no fear in love. There is no reason to be scared of God because in this world you are like Jesus. The one who fears (God or man), is not made perfect in love. If we are motivated to action by fear, then we don’t understand the love of God. Our motivation should be a jealous FOR, not a jealous OF type of love.
- We love because he first love us, not because people “deserve” it. None of us “deserve” God’s love either, but he gives it. He took the first step and moved toward us. We must do the same for others, EVEN IF IT IS NOT RECIPROCATED…
- We cannot say we love God if there is hatred in our hearts toward others. John calls such people liars (v. 19-21). We live in a politically charged, fear-driven culture that creates an “us v. them” mindset. Yet we serve a love motivated, jealous FOR God that tore down every dividing line to show that the kingdom of God is INCLUSIVE, not EXCLUSIVE. How can we show a jealous FOR love to others when we’re constantly worried about our own rights and preferences?
- John closes this passage by saying simply, anyone who loves God must also love others: Whether it’s inside or outside of the church, and with the same passion that God loves us. It is a both/and proposition, not either/or.
- The best way to love others with a God-love is to know God’s jealous love for us. The only way to know God’s jealous love is to know Jesus, for he is the EXACT imprint of the Father.
God SO LOVED the world (including you) that he sent his one any only Son, Jesus, that whosoever would believe upon Him will not die, but have everlasting life. God SO LOVED…this means he had a crazy love! This is the love that shouts “that’s my kid!” and embarrasses them because you don’t care what others think. That’s the kind of crazy love God has for you. In the midst of that, don’t forget that to truly love God is to also love others, with the same kind of love he has for us. That’s the hard part, but our heavenly Father has given us Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. We are not left to do it on our own. Go and be “jealous for” someone today…
God bless you!