Together in Christ: 'Going to Church Without Knowing God' — 1 John 4:7-8

Monday, June 12, 2023

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. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
— 1 John 4:7-8 NLT

Key Thought

One of the most loved Bible verses begins this way:

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son... [1]

John, the beloved disciple, [2] builds a key theme in 1 John around Jesus' teaching on love and His example of love in the Gospel of John. John wanted followers of Jesus to know they must love each other. They couldn't claim to be Jesus' disciples if they didn't. John pointedly told them they could not claim to know God if they didn't love each other. God revealed that loving His human creations was a crucial part of His divine nature. [3] He deals with us based on His love for us. He wants us to deal with each other based on love and His example of love! [4] Our ability to love each other sacrificially when loving is difficult, painful, and costly comes from the love God has demonstrated to us and continues to supply to us through the Holy Spirit. [5]

So, dear friend in Jesus, are you loving your brothers and sisters in Christ? Jesus emphasized that our love for each other must be our defining trait showing that we are His followers. John is emphatic: We can go to church, but if we don't love each other, we don't know God because God is love!

Loving people can sometimes be difficult, so John spends much of his time in 1 John teaching about it! [6] He anchors our ability to love each other in God's loving nature as our Father, the power God gives us to love, and the example of God's loving actions to show us that love is much more than a feeling. [7] For the next three days, we will look at what John taught us about loving each other. Today, let's commit to being like our Father. Let's love each other as He has already loved us!

[1] John 3:16.
[2] Many conservative scholars believe John, the apostle and son of Zebedee, was the beloved disciple, also known as the disciple whom Jesus loved — John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 20-21.
[3] Romans 5:6-11; 1 John 4:8, 11, 19.
[4] John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:16.
[5] Romans 5:5.
[6] 1 John 2:7, 10, 15, 3:1, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16-18, 23, 4:7-12, 16-21, 5:1-3.
[7] 1 John 3:16-18.

Today's Prayer

Abba Father, I believe that you are the source of all love. Thank you for loving me. I recognize that Jesus is Your ultimate gift of love sent to earth to save me. Thank You! Praise You! Today, I want to commit my life to honoring your love for me by loving my brothers and sisters in Christ. I commit to love them in good times and in hard times. As I commit, I recognize that You are the source of all true love, so I ask You to keep pouring Your love into my heart so that I can love others more fully and sacrificially than I have in the past. I ask for this grace in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  • John 3:16-21


Archived Facebook Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, June 12, 2023

A one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts.
"Even as Peter was saying these things [to Cornelius and the others with him about salvation in Jesus], the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were..."
A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet..."
A daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
"[Peter, addressing the apostles and elders at the Council in Jerusalem:] "God knows people's hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them..."
A daily devotional featuring a Bible verse, thought and prayer.
"Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."


Illustration of 1 John 4:7-8 NLT — 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. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.