Together in Christ: 'God Alive in Us' — 1 John 4:11-12

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
— 1 John 4:11-12 NLT

Key Thought

God comes alive in us when we love each other. God expresses His love through us when we love each other as He has loved us.

Jesus knew people could be difficult to love. He taught us to love them anyway. [1] Jesus demonstrated this kind of love in His ministry and by giving His life for people who did not understand Him, let Him down, abandoned Him, and denied knowing Him. [2] Yet, Jesus demonstrated to us that real love goes first. [3] God-shaped doesn't wait to see if others will love in return. Genuine love gives itself regardless of the worthiness or unworthiness of those loved. [4] We respond to the love God has already demonstrated to us by loving others in these ways similar to how He has already loved us. [5]

God made people with a desire to see Him, know Him, and experience His presence.  [6]When we love each other as God has loved us, something truly amazing happens: God becomes visible to others through our love. People awaken to the incredible presence of God among them, shown by our love for each other.

So, rather than complaining that loving some people is impossible, difficult, too hard, and not worth the effort, let's remember the world is looking for love, yearning to know God, and searching for something worthy of their lives. John tells us that if we love each other, God lives in us and fully expresses Himself through us. If that's not motivation to love each other in God's family, I don't know what is!

Let's love each other. And, when loving is hard to do, let's ask for an added dose of the Holy Spirit so we can love more fully. [7] Why? Because it is the right thing to do because the unlovable people around us need our love and because we want God's love to come to full expression in us!

[1] Matthew 5:38-48.
[2] John 3:16-21.
[3] John 3:16-18; 1 John 4:10.
[4] Romans 5:6-11.
[5] John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:11, our verse, and 1 John 4:19.
[6] Acts 17:27-29.
[7] Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, please help people see You, Your glory, and Your grace through how I love Your children and my brothers and sisters in Christ. I yearn for You and Your holy, righteous, and loving character to be made through our love for You, each other, and the lost. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 17:9-26
  • 1 John 4:7-21


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Illustration of 1 John 4:11-12 NLT — Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

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.