1 John 4:19-21

Giving First: Love



“We love, because He first loved us . . . And this commandment we have from Him; that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” I John 4:19, 21



Have you ever noticed how many ways we use the word “love”? Just for fun, try walking through the mall and eavesdrop on different conversations that are taking place around you. A couple holding hands might talk of their “love” for each other. Someone in the food court might talk about dining at a restaurant they “love.” At the music store someone may talk about how much they “love” a certain band. The word has been used so often, its meaning has become diluted.

We can get a distorted view of love, if we have the wrong definition of love. We may think that love is based on feelings and emotions, or that it comes with certain expectations. Love, when understood with the wrong definition, always has strings attached: “I will love you if . . .” or “As long as you do this . . . I will love you.” Is this love?

The true definition of love is found in Scripture. God is love (I John 4:16). His love has no strings attached. We could not earn it if we tried. Take a moment to think about that. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s love, and there is nothing we can do to lose His love. Those thoughts are both humbling and freeing.

Why does God pour out His love on us? The answer – so that we will love Him and love the people He places in our path. Remember what the passage said, “He who loves God, must love his brother also.” Our ability to love others is found in our desire to love God. The closer we are to Him, the more we allow His love to flow through us and into the lives of those around us. 

The more we love God, the more we will love others.



Father, thank You for the amazing love that You have poured out on me. I recognize that the more I experience Your love, the more I am able to love those around me. Help me to understand that true love is unconditional and undeserved, but because of Your love for me, I can show true love to others. Amen