This post is part of the series His Encouragement
Other posts in this series:
Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every week, I join a few blogging friends to bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these devotionals help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 John 4:7-8, ESV
Christianity can seem a bit complicated with the wide range of beliefs held by professed Christians, the diverse teachings and theology out there, and the sheer number of denominations. It is not unusual – though it is tremendously saddening – for different factions of Christians to argue and fight amongst themselves.
Sometimes it is one denomination against another, one ideological group against another within the same denomination, or even individuals against fellow members of their own local church!
But this behavior is not the fruit of genuine followers of Christ Jesus. We are told over and over in the Bible that we must love others. 1 John 4:7-8 is not only a powerful reminder of the importance of loving others but also a stern warning.
This is a pivotal cornerstone of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus Himself said: “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
If we don’t love others, then we demonstrate that we do not know God.
God is love
If you know God personally and allow His Holy Spirit to work in your heart and life to transform you from a selfish sinner into a reflection of Christ’s loving and compassionate nature, then you will love others because you love God and God is love.
James 1:27 reminds us: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
It can be challenging to think about the needs of others when you are living in the trenches of a rough situation yourself, but don’t let your circumstances prevent you from sharing God’s love with those around you. After all, knowing God means loving others!
If you are listening to His leading, the Lord will bring people into your sphere of influence that you can reach for Him. It may be as simple as a non-judgmental shoulder to cry on, an earnest conversation, a delicious meal, a word of prayer, a thoughtful card or letter, or a genuine friendship. Perhaps it is an offering or donation to a worthy cause or re-gifting items we no longer need to others who would benefit from it. Maybe it is volunteering your time and skills or helping a person/family in need.
There is always something you can do to show love and compassion to another person. Let us be Christ’s hands and feet in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, at our work. “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)
Knowing God means loving others
Knowing God and what He expects of His children is so important. The Word of God is very clear: if we don’t love other people, we don’t truly know or love God.
Here is a music video my friend, Trisha of Joy of Reading, shared earlier today. The message is quite powerful.
How do you personally love others as we have been called to do? If you are a parent, how are you teaching this principle to your child(ren)?
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
Hi there, blogger. Would you like to join us in sharing encouragement from the Word of God every Thursday? Don’t be shy! Contact Trisha or Nicole today!
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Perfect in weakness
5 thoughts on “His Encouragement: Knowing God”
The concept sounds so easy – love one another, and yet why do we struggle with it so? Great post my friend 🙂
You are absolutely right. It can be quite hard to put into practice consistently as we go about our day and regular life. Praise the Lord, He will help us if we are willing! (Philippians 4:13)
This is so true! It truly saddens me how much disunity there is in the body over disputes that are not worth the animosity. There isn’t a different heaven for each denomination. In heaven a lot of the things above our comprehension will be revealed to us but we aren’t meant to understand it all. Don’t get me wrong, there is a huge difference between small, non-salvation based opinions and clearly anti-biblical twistings and teachings. But there is more disunity in the body today than there needs to be and it’s saddening and muddies our witness to the rest of the world. We should be showing the world a love and unity that can only come through Christ.
You are absolutely right! It deeply troubles me how many people may have been put off by the in-fighting and quibbling within our churches who, otherwise, might have come to know the love of Christ. We never know how far reaching our influence – even briefly – may have on someone’s life and decisions. In 1 Corinthians 3:6, the apostle Paul wrote, referring to witnessing, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” Sometimes the fruit of our words and actions, whether for good or for evil, are not immediately seen. We may be planting the seed in someone’s heart, and God will send others along that person’s life to “water” the seed. It is important for us to pause and consider: “Am I watering the seeds in this person’s heart for God or starving it of life-giving nourishment?”