Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. – 1 John 4:7-12 [NLT]
A friend of mine served as an emcee at a retirement of a colleague, and made the following comment: “Sarah got her dad’s good looks; her mom kept hers!” We get our good looks, our hair color, mannerisms, speech patterns and values from our parents. I’ve met parents of folks I have known for a while and immediately see where the resemblances come from.
So it is for God: when we see love, we see a manifestation of God’s nature. Indeed if we know God we will express God’s love to others. God is the source of love.
God is also the expression of love. For when God took on human flesh he was giving himself to the world and through that gift was showing us his love. For God’s gift of his Son was more profound than the mere act of giving; it meant that he was going to sacrifice his Son for the sake of his love and for the redemption of the world. In doing so, he took away our sins.
There is no way we can experience or embrace God’s love and not love others. That means that if someone does not love us, it is because they do not know God’s love. So when we fail to experience love from others they need love from us. For when we express love to others we are expressing God’s love. And if ever the unloving person is going to become loving it will only be by means of God’s love touching his or her heart. Only then can God’s love be fully expressed in anyone – when one experiences his love to us.