1 John, Devotional, New Testament

By This We Know Love (1 John 3:16-18 Devotional)

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 JOHN 3:16-18 ESV

What is love?  Some people would spend all their lives searching for the answer to this question. But the answer is revealed in the Bible.  John, the disciple of love,  pointed us to the answer – Jesus.  

 John 3:16-  
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  
1 John 3:16- 
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”  

Is that coincident that both 3:16 verses from John’s books are about love?   John said, “By this we know love.” True love is more than an inward feeling.  It is shown by demonstration.  The ultimate demonstration of love was the giving of God.   In John 3:16, God so loved the world, He gave His son.  And this action of love brought forth the blessing and hope of eternal life for all who believe.   In 1 John 3:16, to show us what love is, Jesus laid down his life, which sets the example of love for all children of God.

Everything that Jesus does speaks love because His love is shown through action.   He commanded us to “love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).  Jesus gave us the command, and He showed us how to do it.  John was the witness of this great love in action as he did hear Jesus say, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.“ (John 15:13), and he saw how it was done when Jesus gave his life on the cross.  Hence John’s teaching to God’s children is this: 

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

Faith without works is dead, and so is love. But God’s seed is in us, and He is love.  So it is almost impossible for us not to love! May God teach us how to love and serve like Jesus.  Teach us how to show our love and the love of Christ to our family, neighbors, classmates in school, colleagues at work, and others who need help in the community, not only in words and speech but with actions and truth. And by that,  they may know love, God’s love.


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