“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
1 John 4:8 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post is about love and knowing God. Before we get into 1 John 4:8, let’s put it in a little perspective. Earlier in the chapter John is warning believers that they may get many people telling them this or that about what to believe or do. However, as Christians, we only want to do and believe as God wills us. In a world full of sin and as many opinions as there are people, it can be difficult in choosing what to believe and how to go.
The next question is how can we even know what God’s will is for us if we do not know Him. Even some acquaintances might not know how to take something a family member might say or do. So, we that know the person might say, “Oh he loves me. It is just his way.” When we know the person, we understand their meaning. It is the same with God. We need to know God, which also means knowing His Word, in order to know His will for us.
Notice, that I haven’t even used the word “love” yet. Well, that is because I haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. I think it is easier to understand if we take it in bite size pieces, because this verse goes way beyond common words like “love” and “know”.
Now, let’s look at the words in 1 John 4:8 (KJV), “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” What does this mean to you? If we take it literally, I think it says that regardless of whether we call ourselves a Christian or not, if we don’t love and act in a loving way towards God, ourselves, or others, then we don’t really know God. To me, it is also saying that we aren’t close to God and aren’t right with God if we don’t have love in our hearts.
I think 1 John 4:8 warns us not only about other people who may not be of God, but also calls for us to reflect upon whether we are acting as God wills us. So, when we get advice, we can check it. If there is no love in it, then it definitely is not from God. If we don’t act in a loving way, then we are not acting in God’s behalf towards the world.
I think that 1 John 4:8 can be better understood if we take it in the light of Genesis 1:27 (KJV), which says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” To me, if we remember that we are created in God’s image, then we will be more apt to be able to discern whether we are acting in accordance with God, because God is love, among other things.
Figuratively, we can put a mirror up to a person (including ourselves), as well as what he or she may say or do. If the reflection is a bright sign that says, “love of God”, then he or she (or the message) is of God. If the reflection is just of a plain person or anything less than the “love of God”, then we need to be cautious and discern carefully.
Something else I would like to mention about 1 John 4:8 and maybe the most difficult thing; and that is we need to be careful about the definition of “love”. Love isn’t just saying, “I love you.” Love isn’t always a “fuzzy, feel good” feeling. Love isn’t always something that we want to hear. Love doesn’t always agree with us. Love can be stern and admonishing as well. Love is truthful, righteous, disciplining, forgiving, merciful, and compassionate. Love, especially God’s love and God Himself, entails so much more than a love that we humans can even imagine or comprehend.
I think that many in the world are confused about love. Our lack of understanding about love is where many fights begin. Some think or say, “If you love me, you will do this.” Then, if the person doesn’t do it, then people think that they are not loved. But, we can’t just dictate whether someone loves us based upon whether or not they do what we want. The yardstick is much different than that. Figuratively, the yardstick is what we see in the mirror. We are called to show the love of God to others. If someone holds a mirror up to us, then figuratively they should see that bright sign that says “love of God”.
However, 1 John 4:8 (KJV) says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” It is a negative statement. So, we aren’t talking about those who love, but those who don’t love. It is still the same yardstick though. Whether we are reflecting on ourselves or trying to discern whether what someone is telling us is from God or not, we still need to figuratively look in the mirror and look for the “love of God”. If we don’t see it, then the person (including oneself) doesn’t know God. He or she isn’t reflecting God’s love or image. So, we need to beware.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for giving us a yardstick in which to discern whether someone knows you. Thank you for your love. Help us to reflect your love to others in all that we do. Help us to discern the reflection of your love or lack thereof in others. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflection questions for 1 John 4:8 (KJV):
*What does 1 John 4:8 mean to me?
*What does love mean to me?
*Do I reflect on whether I love others and reflect God’s love?
*Do I hold others and the messages or actions of others up to the mirror to
discern whether or not they are of God?
*What can I do in order to heed the words in 1 John 4:8 better?
*What is God telling me in the words in 1 John 4:8?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad that you are here. I pray that the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations blesses you in some way. For those of you who don't know, I pray before I write it that God gives me the words to write, that they are His words and not my words, that He doesn't allow me to add, subtract, or change anything He asks me to say. I really hope and pray that I stay obedient to that prayer and God's message. In that way, I believe that God is blessing either me and/or one of the readers through the words in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. Is that person you? Are you being touched or called to do something through the words? And, as always, no matter what my words may be, I encourage you to read God's Word and pray for your personal understanding and message from God.
Not only do I appreciate your kindness and support, I also welcome your comments. I hope you will share your godly thoughts and understanding to encourage the rest of us. Thank you.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. Together, let's uplift others and grow the kingdom of God. God bless.
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P.P.S. - If you like this post on "love" and "reflecting God's love" and truth, you may also want to read this post.
“He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”
Luke 3:11 (KJV)
How are you? Not long ago, I wrote another post on sharing. You can read it here. That post was focused on how we sometimes tend to confuse “needs” and “wants”. Today’s post is about sharing, but with the focus on sharing from our excess.
In Luke 3:11 (KJV), it says, “He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; an the that hath meat, let him do likewise.” Here, John the Baptist is answering a question people have asked about what they must do. As we can see, the message is that we should give from our excess to those who don’t have all the necessities in life.
I believe the word “meat” doesn’t just refer to meat, but to all food and drink. John is talking about food that is a necessity. We need food and drink in order to live. It may be the same with “coats”. John may not be just talking about coats, but all necessary clothing. Clothing is a necessity as well.
Luke 3:11 reminds me of Matthew 19:21 (KJV) which says, “Jesus said unto him, If those wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Jesus’ answer maybe a little more drastic, but the message to be compassionate and giving to the poor is still the same.
One might ask, “Why doesn’t John tell people the same as Jesus did?” I believe there a couple of reasons. The first is that Jesus hadn’t yet started His ministry in the times of when John was speaking in Luke 3:11. I believe the second reason is that God likes to tell us things in baby steps as to not overwhelm us and so we can understand. People who came to John might not have been ready to hear that they must sell everything. God may have thought that they were only ready to hear that they must share from their excess.
I don’t know about you, but Luke 3:11 inspires me to think about what I have and what I give or don’t give. It gets me to thinking about how many of us have more coats and more clothes than they could possibly need and others don’t have all the necessities in life. Another thing I think about is that there is no mention of being asked by the poor for anything, only mention of giving to the poor. We are called to lovingly, graciously, and compassionately give to the poor out of excess in daily living necessities. We are called to take the initiative to ensure the poor at least have the necessities in life. What do you think about in reading Luke 3:11?
Do you think about how many pieces of clothing you have and how many people could use even one? Do you think of how much food you have and how much gets wasted while others struggle to fine any? Does your heart go out to those who struggle to just get the necessities in life? Do you even think about what that might feel like?
I pray that you are blessed by Luke 3:11 to reflect on what you have or need and what you can do to help those less fortunate. I pray we all take that time to not only reflect, but to do something about it, to compassionately and joyously give.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for caring for all your children, those who have as well as those who have not. Thank you for teaching us to give and share with others. Help us to be, not only obedient to your Holy Word, and give to others, but to give well with a loving and compassionate heart. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Luke 3:11 (KJV):
*What does Luke 3:11 mean to me?
*Does Luke 3:11 inspire me to reflect on what I have and what I share?
*Do I have more food or clothing than I need?
*Do I have more possessions and money than I need?
*Do I share with the poor and those in need?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I enjoy sharing my faith and my thoughts with you. I encourage you to read God's Word and grow in your own faith. I welcome any comments and ideas you may have so that we can all be encouraged and grow in our faith.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. Encourage others to read God's Word and grow in their faith as well. And, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV)
How are you? Have you ever wondered why you are going through a difficult time? Have you wondered what you did to deserve such a horrible time? I pray that in these times, your discomfort turns to comfort, even if only through the words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Sometimes the source of our discomfort is obvious. For example, you touching a hot stove will result in a burn. We know this. We can understand it. It doesn’t help the burn, but at least we know why the painful burn is there. We did something not so smart and we are suffering the consequences.
However, sometimes things happen and we are not sure why. We are suffering with something and we are not sure the cause. What did we do? Why are we suffering? Did we do something that wasn’t so smart? Did we bring it on ourselves? Did Satan do it to bring us down? Is God punishing us?
At times, these things are good to ask, so that we can reflect on where we are at in our relationship with God. There are lessons we can use from self-reflection and it seems like the lessons come the most through our mistakes and hardships.
Although, the “why of it” might not be the best question to ask or even the view to take. Maybe we should be taking it as it comes and asking God for comfort and mercy. More than that, maybe we should be noticing and acknowledging that comfort.
One of the reasons I like this passage so much is that it is so comforting and it shows the compassion and love of our Heavenly Father. Now, that we have started wondering the reasons of why bad things happen and why we go through hardships, let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort”. We are called to praise God! As Christians, we know that and do that anyway. However, it is sometimes difficult to praise God during hard times. We feel angry or hurt during hard times, instead of thankfulness and the willingness to praise God. That is why I think we need to not focus on the hardship as much, but on God.
I think it is in “focusing on God more” that we will realize that God is our Heavenly Father, that He has mercy on us and comforts us. I think it is then that we can start blessing Him and praising His name, even during hardship, or closely thereafter, as Paul did. After all, this was written just after a time when he thought he would be killed and his daily condition probably wasn’t the best.
After being reminded of some very wonderful titles and traits of our Heavenly Father and being called to bless Him, we are reminded of some reasons why we should bless our Heavenly Father. Let’s now look at 2 Corinthians 1:4 (KJV), which says, “who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
To me, two of those reasons that we might not know about for our hardship might be explained in 2 Corinthians 1:4. Maybe one of the reasons that we have hardship is so that God can comfort us. I don’t mean that God causes hardship, so that He can some in like a knight in shining armor to rescue use and feel good about himself. It isn’t some sort of knight in shining armor syndrome. When God comforts us, it is the real thing. He comforts us as nobody else can.
God doesn’t want us to continue to suffer. He wants us to seek Him. We have seen this in Jesus’ personality and ways. We read in scripture how Jesus was compassionate towards those whom he met. We also see God’s compassion and mercy when Jesus says in John 16:7 (KJV), “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Like any loving father, our Heavenly Father, provides for us and comforts us.
I mentioned that there are two reasons for our suffering that can be found in 2 Corinthians 1:4. Again, I don’t mean that God causes suffering, just so that He can comfort us. He may let it happen, so that we can benefit from His comfort and learn from the experience. The second, to me, is that we suffer so that God can comfort us and that we then in turn can comfort others. We are to testify of God’s kindness and comfort for us, so that others can be comforted as well. We are also called to physically and emotionally comfort others, as God has comforted us.
In a way, 2 Corinthians 1:4, shows us that we are called to “pay it forward”. God comforts us, so we are called to comfort others. Then, they can comfort others, as God comforted them through us, and on and on.
Of what verse does the “pay it forward” aspect of 2 Corinthians 1:4 remind you? It reminds me of Matthew 6:12 (KJV), “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us examples of the good things that we are do. He treats us, as we are to treat others.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your love, mercy, and comfort. Thank you for showing us more and more the love for us. Help us to be thankful for the love, mercy, and comfort you provide. Help us to remember it and “pay it forward” during times when others are in need. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV):
*What does 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 mean to me?
*Do I praise and bless God in difficult times?
*Do I testify how God comforts me and has mercy on me?
*Do I “pay it forward” and comfort others?
*Of what other verses do 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 remind me?
*What message is God giving me through 2 Corinthians 1:3-4?
*What can I do to better heed the words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4?
Every once in a while, I like to remind you that I am not a biblical scholar. I didn't go to seminary. I am a Christian who loves our Heavenly Father. I read the Bible to know Him and to know His ways and what I am called to do. I encourage you to do the same. A devotion, such as I offer in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, is a great starting place to get used to reading and thinking about God's Word. It is also a wonderful place for more experienced Christians and Bible readers to read the thoughts of other Christians on Bible verses, and to offer thoughts of their own.
*If you want to read another post on comfort, you may also want to read this one.
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and find value in it. I always look forward to your comments, ideas, and suggestions. I want to learn and grow in faith with you. So, please feel free to comment below. Also, if you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. "Pay it forward." Let others find value in it as well. Thank you.
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“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
1 John 3:17 (KJV)
How are you? I am touched by the words in 1 John 3:17. What about you? If we all thought about these words and prayed about these words, and acted upon these words, the world would be a better place.
As Christians, we try to do what is right. We may go to church, worship God and speak His name. We may pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well. Yet, is that all we are called to do?
We are asked a very good question in 1 John 3:17 (KJV), “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” With the “old time” words and way of saying things, this verse, like many others in the Bible, may be difficult to understand. However, it is basically saying, “If we are rich or have more than we need and see someone in need, but don’t share, how can we say that we have God’s love in us?” Or, we can also change that to, “How can we say we are Christians, followers of Jesus, and believers, if we don’t share out of our extra wealth with those in need?”
Let’s think about that question a minute. Pray about it. If we are truly following Jesus, how can we not share what we have with others? Jesus was always having compassion on others, healing them, encouraging them, and giving the good news to them. Shouldn’t we do the same, if we are able? Isn’t that what “following” means? Is that what it means to be Christian?
I think part of our issue in not heeding the words in 1 John 3:17 is that we interchange the words “need” and “want” too much in our society. We talk about “needing” things that we really “want”. We might say something like, “I need to get some chips for the picnic.” Well, that isn’t quite the truth. The truth is that we “want” to get some chips for the picnic. We might say, “I need a new car.” Well, that isn’t quite the truth either. Even if we feel we need a vehicle, the truth is closer to, “I need something to get me to and from work or the grocery store. But, I really want it to be a new car.” Our society says “need” too often when “want” is really the meaning.
With our nonchalant use of the word “need”, how can we really tell when someone needs something or not? More to the point, how can we tell if we have more than we need, if we always say we need something when we don’t? I think this badly, overused, misrepresented use of the word “need” has made us numb to the real needs of the world; of ours and of others.
I think if we learn to use the word “want” when we really mean “want” and use “need” when we really mean “need”, God will be more likely to open our hearts to have the compassion we should for others. Even if we have never had a real “need”, we may start to understand that there are people who do and our compassion will tug at us until we do something about it.
It is then that we can realize that we have a closet bulging with more clothes than we actually where, when there are others who barely have clothes on their backs and don’t even have a closet. Maybe then, we will share.
In preparing for this post and reading 1 John 3:17, it tugged at my heart some. I hope that God continues the tug at my heart. I pray that He continues to convict me with this verse, until I am moved to a depth so deep that His loves comes pouring through me. I pray the same for you as well, if you aren’t there already.
Thank you for sending your only Son, Jesus, to be our Savior and our ultimate role model. Oh, Lord, help us to know the difference between “needs” and “wants”. Touch our hearts, so they are opened to the needs of others and your compassion can flow through us. Help us to have compassion on those in need, not only in word and prayer, but also in action. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for 1 John 3:17 (KJV):
*What does 1 John 3:17 mean to me?
*Do I use the word “need” when I really mean “want”?
*Do I think that the needs and wants confusion numbs us?
*What message is God giving me through this verse?
*What can I do to better heed the words in 1 John 3:17?
*Do I have any excess that I can give to those in need?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Do you use "need" when you mean "want"? Why don't you think we give as much as we can to those in need? How do you think we call ourselves Christians and don't give to those in need? (I know some do give.) I would like to hear from you. Please, comment below to give us all something about which to think and pray. Thank you.
I am so glad that you are here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I hope you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value, please share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with your friends, family, and church. Thank you.
Also, if you haven't already done so, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.