As we observed earlier, love is not a static or inactive quality. It is more than a sentimental emotion. We who are children of God are not meant to be receptacles or containers of His love only. We are to be channels. God’s love is not mean to be contained. It is meant to overflow.
There is something of a progression in the verses of 1 John 4 beginning with verse 11.
Verse 11: “…if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
Verse 12: “If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
Verse 16: “…and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.”
Verse 18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…”
Verse 19: “We love Him, because He first loved us.”
Verse 20: “If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar…”
Verse 21: “And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God love his brother also.”
So the one who knows the love of God in his life, loves the people of God. He dwells in God and His love. He does not live in fear but in faith. And he or she cannot hate a brother or sister in Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:5: “…the love of God has been shed abroad (poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
So what does this say to the people of God? Is it our aim to be channels of God’s love as husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, and as siblings? Can we as pastors and people, as brothers and sisters in Christ be constrained by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14) to not live unto ourselves but unto Christ and His body, the Church and to glorify Him by the love that we have for one another?