We know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 John 4:16
The professor ended his online class in one of two ways each time. He’d say, “See you next time” or “Have a good weekend.” Some students would respond with “Thank you. You too!” But one day a student responded, “I love you.” Surprised, he replied, “I love you too!” That evening the classmates agreed to create an “I love you chain” for the next class time in appreciation for their professor who had to teach to a screen on his computer, not in-person teaching as he preferred. A few days later when he finished teaching, the professor said, “See you next time,” and one by one the students replied, “I love you.” They continued this practice for months. The teacher said this created a strong bond with his students, and he now feels they’re “family.”
In 1 John 4:10–21, we, as part of God’s family, find several reasons to say “I love you” to Him: He sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sin (v. 10). He gave us His Spirit to live in us (vv. 13, 15). His love is always reliable (v. 16), and we never need to fear judgment (v. 17). He enables us to love Him and others “because he first loved us” (v. 19).
The next time you gather with God’s people, take time to share your reasons for loving Him. Making an “I love you” chain for God will bring Him praise and bring you closer together.
Why do you love God? How can you show others His love?
I’m grateful to know Your love and to be a part of Your family, Father. Show me ways to creatively express that love.
Scholars believe 1 John was written by the apostle John, the author of the fourth gospel. Some ten years after writing his gospel, John wrote this letter to teach believers how to “live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6)—putting love into action. Reminiscent of the language of John 3:16–17, John reminds us that God “sent his one and only Son into the world . . . as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10). “Atoning sacrifice” describes what Jesus did on the cross in “removing guilt and purifying sinners (expiation), and appeasing God’s anger toward sinners (propitiation)” (NIV Zondervan Study Bible).