1 John 4:7-21 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
You’ve heard the quote “Preach the gospel. Use words if necessary”. While that instruction falls a bit short in regards to how to witness for Christ, there is something to be said about what our actions show the people around us. There are some who don’t know the name of Christ. They’ve never experience Him and never had an encounter with anyone who wanted to really share His love for them. For those people, how we represent Jesus makes all the difference in the world. We’re all they know of Him.
This passage from John’s letter brings up the point that no one can see God, but they can see us. And if God loved us enough to forgive us our sins, we ought to love those around us so that they can experience that forgiveness too. There are opportunities every day to love other people for the glory of God. Even in the little things that we so often overlook, we can be representing our Lord. How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ? It may very well have been through observing the kindness of a Christian.
Let’s not just love with our words, but with our actions. Let’s not forget the love that God has already shown us and our obligation to pass it along to others. There are lives on the line and our love plays a key role in how the world responds to Jesus. Take the opportunities presented to you today, tomorrow, and each day to show love to someone else. You never know what effect it can have on them.