What is Love?

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. I John 4:7-10

You can use the word “love” for a lot of things. The way you feel about your family. Your tennis score. Your favorite food. An attraction to a crush. Even some harsh discipline might be “tough love.”
John has already written a lot about love, too. Christians must love each other, he has said, and should show it by caring for others’ material needs. He has said that we show God love through faith and obedience. Here’s one more definition, and it’s an important one. John says it is love.
John writes that, more important than our love for God is God’s love for us, which He showed by sending His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Not only did He provide a way for us to be forgiven, He did it while we still hated God. He reached out for us first. This is love.

Questions for reflection and discussion
1. Do you love people who hate you?
2. How should you respond to God's love?

Dear God, You showed Your perfect love for us by providing a way of salvation before we even knew we needed it. Help us to show the same kind of love to You and to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.