1 John 4:16
We have come to know
The word ‘know’ in this passage means, “to give heed to, to pay attention to.”
and have believed
The word ‘believed’ in this passage means to “have confidence in.”
Now I make this distinction because I believe that our experience with “Knowing God,” is two-fold. First, our hearts and spirits are awakened to the reality of God Himself. We are introduced to Him, so to speak, through the power of the Holy Spirit, at the invitation of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, ”
19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
So, there is an initial introduction to Our Precious God, at His invitation, and He says to us,
the love which God has for us.
The Word used for “love” here is Agape. This is the kind of love that only God can have for us. It is Benevolent love, Affectionate love. It’s so hard to imagine God having affection for me, for us, but He truly does. So give grace to yourself, as Your Heavenly Father has. Jesus says to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To love yourself is to receive the love that the Heavenly Father gives to us. God once showed me that it would be impossible for me to love anyone else, until I received and believed His love for me. I had to start there. We all do. So, if you are wondering, as I was, why it seems so hard to love others, as yourself this question. “Have I fully received and fully believed the love that God has for me.” The journey must begin with you. There is no sidestepping this one. If you have hate for yourself in your heart, it will hinder every relationship you are in, especially your relationship with God.
God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Amen and Amen