once you know God's love, you never don't.
AND SO WE KNOW AND RELY ON THE LOVE GOD HAS FOR US. GOD IS LOVE. WHOEVER LIVES IN LOVE LIVES IN GOD, AND GOD IN THEM.
1 JOHN 4:16
There’s this pillow that’s been stalking me all over the internet…
It shows up on all my socials. It’s in all my ads. There’s hardly a day that goes by when I don't see it, staring through the screen, saying, “You want me.” And truth is, I do. I really like this pillow. But the creepy thing is, somehow the internet knows it. Over the years, I’ve gotten used to the internet’s creep-factor. But then yesterday, my mom sent me a link…to THE PILLOW!!! MY MOM!!! How did the internet do that? How does the internet know me so well? How does it know my mom? But it does. Oh, it does. The internet always knows. Knowing someone this well is exactly what we’re talking about today.
I want to know God’s love like the internet knows me (minus the creep-factor).
Our verse says, “So we know and rely on the love God has for us.” God loves us and we can know it! I want that, don’t you? I want to know his love inside and out. I want to be filled up and overflowing with it. So, let’s do this, right? Let’s get started! But where to start? Well naturally, I started by brainstorming all the ways we can know God—through really great spiritual habits like prayer and reading the Word. But when I started digging into our verse, I realized that I had it all wrong. Our verse isn’t about building up good spiritual habits so we can know God’s love. (There are other verses out there for that.) Instead, our verse is something else entirely. It’s not about doing something to know God’s love at all. It’s about being someone who knows God’s love already. What!?!? I know that probably sounds weird, but I promise it’s good news on overdrive, and you’re gonna love it!
ON THE PODCASTMeet our February Dwell guest: Debra Fileta! Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and an author of 5 books on healthy relationships. Her heart for Jesus informs her writing, her counseling, and her chats with us this month as we dig into 1 John 4:16.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
“Once you have kids, you never don’t.”
My husband, Jason, used to say that to me when we first started talking about having kids. It always cracked me up. But as silly as it sounds, I think it can help us understand our verse. Jason’s point was that having kids isn’t a one-and-done kinda thing; it’s ongoing. Once you have them, “you never don’t.” And that’s exactly how our verse works. It says, “So we know and rely on the love God has for us.” The verb tense of the word “know” carries this exact same sense. Once you start knowing, you keep on knowing into the future. Do you see what this means??? This means that there’s a point in time when we start to “know” God, but there’s never a time after that where we don’t know him. We just keep on knowing him—on and on into eternity! So, this saying is true: “Once you know God’s love, you never don’t.” (I know I’m driving some of you batty because I haven’t mentioned anything about the verb “rely.” It’s used exactly the same way as “know.” But you’re just going to have to tune in next week to find out about relying on God’s love. Ain’t nobody got space for that here.)
From not knowing to knowing.
So, there was this time when we didn’t know God’s love. And then, suddenly we did! And now that we know it, we can’t NOT know it anymore. But how did we first come to know God’s love? Did we study up our Bibles until it just made sense to us? What did we do to get this knowledge? Here’s the best news:
We didn’t do anything. God did it.
God gave us this knowledge; he made it all possible. The verses just prior to ours tell us how. Verse 10 says, “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 4:10). We know God’s love because HE initiated with us. HE did all the work. HE loved us. HE sent Jesus to make amends for our mistakes. Verse 15 goes on to say, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.” This is the blessed moment, when we go from not knowing to knowing. This is the great mystery of our lives, that God has come and made his love known to us by living in us, so that we might have life in him. These are the heights and the depths of God’s love for us. Who can fathom? So, I sing, “What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!” (Anonymous hymn).
Because God loved us first,
And sent his Son,
Because God lives in us,
And we in him, WE KNOW his love—
Love given, not earned,
Love in us, forever and ever.
IF GOD'S LOVE DEPENDS ON HIM (NOT YOU), HOW DOES THAT SET YOU FREE?
HAVE YOU EVER ACKNOWLEDGED THE LOVE GOD HAS GIVEN YOU IN JESUS? IF NOT, HIS LOVE IS AN OFFER EVEN TODAY. EMBRACE HIS PERFECT, FOREVER, MIRACULOUS LOVE.
GOT QUESTIONS? SHOOT ME A RESPONSE. I'D LOVE TO CHAT.
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!