1 John 4:12, 16; “If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ... Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."
“See how these Christians love one another” (Tertullian). God shares His heart with His people; in fact, His will is drawn like a magnet to a heart that beats with His. I have preached on the 1 John 4: 12 – 16 passage often and as I write this I am reminded of an occasion a few years ago when a young man who was over from Holland came over afterwards stating that he finally understood what the faith was all about, and that God is love. Perhaps the reason why is that, in the text, we discover what God had in mind when He devised the great plan of salvation. What seems clear is that God is not satisfied simply to tell us that He loves us or even show us that He does, His desire is to live in us. Love is who He is; it is part of His nature and a valid test of our relationship with Him. If we are united to God through faith in Christ, we share His nature, and love is the test of the reality of our spiritual life. I don’t know about you but for me it is relatively easy to see who the followers of Christ (the believers) are. How? Well, a person who knows God and has been born of God will respond to God’s nature and naturally practice love without fail. Love is a valid test of true Christian faith. This love will not be a forced thing; for the heart that is synchronised with God's heart, love will be a natural response, the outflow. As I look around me, much which is called “love” in modern society bears no resemblance or relationship to the holy, spiritual love of God. When we see how people treat other people as employers, in business, within their family units, with those in their circles, and, also, what comes out of their mouths in these relationships, the two are literally worlds apart. So what about the Christian? Well, since God is love, and we have claimed a personal relationship with Him, we must of necessity reveal His love in how we live. We should love one another naturally (why) because God loves us and that's what He does. Think about this with me: if God loves one of your enemies and you don't, here’s the reality; yours and God's heart haven't connected at that point and are not aligned. Throughout Scripture we see God aligning our hearts with His. Why? Because that's His character and attitude and is "the room temperature of heaven" (Tiegreen). This is how our hearts align with His.