Love is From God.
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. 1 John 4:7-21 (ESV)
Only God can give a person the desire to do good for someone else. Love for someone else is an indication that God dwells within.
Love is the desire to give life to another. God's love for His creation of man and woman was seen when He sent His only Son into the world, providing the only remedy for our doom, allowing us to be forgiven and justified, giving us life.
Love for God moves us to embrace Him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in human flesh. Our love for God cannot hope to give any measure of life to the Life Giver, but we can exult in His excellence. We can gladly trust Him. We can praise Him and make much of Him before others.
Love for God moves us to share in His love for others. Love for God joins with Him in love for others.
Hatred is to detest another, to testify against another. Hatred requires one to deny God's love, to act as though God has no love for another. Hatred moves a person to persecute another, calling upon God as a witness to the guilt and wickedness of another person.
How can I call on God as a witness of another's wickedness without bringing my own wickedness to the stand? How can I deny God's love for another person without denying His love for me?
To love God and rejoice in His love for me, requires me to rejoice in His love for others. To do otherwise makes me a liar.
Image courtesy of Konrad Mostert.