1 John 4:7-12

(1 John 4:7-12)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Lord, You have provided a simple but sobering test of Christian spirituality – our love for You can be measured by our love for others. And we have all, without exception, failed Your test. Every time we refuse to lend a helping hand, to listen to a hurting friend, to curb a critical tongue, we refuse to love You or to obey Your commandments. Strip away our selfishness, Lord, and help us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and in doing so to love You wholeheartedly.