God loves us so much He sent Jesus to die in our place and reconcile us to the Father. Scripture references: John 3:16 - 1 John 4:9 - 1 John 4:10 - Galatians 4:4-5 - Romans 5:5
We should love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.
Alot of sons, in the natural, want to be like their father. We should strive to be like our Heavenly Father: In actions, conversation, etc. When the world looks at us they should see our Father in us. We should love as our Heavenly Father loves. Because His love has been shed abroad in our hearts. (Romans 5:8)
Paul said if we don't have love we are nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
We are to put on love like a garment.
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for GOD IS LOVE.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. GOD IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
This is what love (charity) is: It is a fruit of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22-23). It is the fulfilling of the law ( Romans 13:10).
Charity: Strong's #26: brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence. Love: Strong's #25: to be fond of, to love dearly.
American College Dictionary: A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a friend (or between friends), parent, child, etc. The benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God. Love, affection, devotion all mean a deep and enduring emotional regard, usually for another person.
The next Scripture verses tell us what love does and does not do.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1co 13:8 Charity never faileth.
Here's the way the Amplified Version says it:
v. 4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
v. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
v. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
v. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
v. 8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
If we want God's love to be perfected (completed) in us, we have to love.
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. How is He? HE IS LOVE. He is merciful, compassionate, forgiving, longsuffering, etc.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Ro 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Ro 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. If we treat others like we want to be treated, we will have love for one another. I am responsible for how I treat others, not how they treat me.
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. This doesn't necessarily mean dying for someone, although it could. It means taking time out of your day for someone else's needs.
Fear can hinder God's love from being perfected in us.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
It is not a suggestion that we love one another. It is a Commandment. Scriptures:
1 John 5:3 - 1 John 4:21 - Matthew 19:19 - Mark 12:31-33 - Luke 10:27 - Matthew 22:37-40
More Scriptures about loving others: 1 John 3:23 - 1 John 4:11 - Matthew 19:19 - 1 John 5:2
In fact, we are to even love our enemies and do good to them. Scripture references:Matthew 5:44 - Luke 6:27,32,35 - Romans 12:20
There are some Scriptures that make it plain about NOT loving others.
1 John 3:17 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? If we don't help people when it is within our power to do so, how can we say we love God or that His love dwells in us?
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
We are not to just say we love one another but we are to show our love.
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.
We are to be examples of love.
Paul told Timothy in1 Timothy 4:12: Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
And we are to follow after love.
2 Timothy 2:22, Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Philippians 2:1-5 says we should have the same love, be of one accord and one mind. We should be of the same mind as Jesus, who made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.
Jesus said inMatthew 25:40, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. He also said in verse 45, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Whatever we do, it is like we are doing it to Jesus: Good or bad. Think about that! If we could keep those Scriptures in our minds we would treat people better.
The Bible says we are to let our love be sincere, without hypocrisy. Scriptures:Romans 12:9 - 1 Peter 1:22-23 - 1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent (earnest) charity (love) among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.
If we are born again then we are part of Christ's body.
Jesus prayed for us inJohn chapter 17. Inverse 21He prayed that: "They also may be one in us."
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
1 John 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Galatians 5:6 says faith works by love.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).
I want to end with a passage from the Upper Room: God created our diversity (differences). Diversity can create strife and tension, or it can add interest, beauty, and harmony to our lives. Each of us must decide if we want to put forth the effort to create a beautiful blend with others.
May we work together in the love of God to win souls and to help build God's Kingdom.