Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 (NIV)
Regeneration makes a lasting difference in a person’s life. It is not a private, emotional experience that tickles your feelings and then vanishes. The new birth so changes you that it brings you into the life of love that God calls you to pursue.
Jesus described it like this: “To love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31). Love is the sure sign that you have been born of God. “Everyone who loves has been born of God.”
John says, “Love comes from God.” That’s where it comes from. That’s where you receive love, and where you gain the capacity to give love. If you read on, John fills out the meaning:
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10).
God is love, and love comes from God. The Father sent his Son into the world for you. The Son of God gave his life as an atoning sacrifice for your sins. If you are born of God—who is love—you will grow in love for God and for other people.
Have you ever wished you could love more deeply? Have you ever longed for a greater capacity for patience and kindness? How could this happen for you?