1 John 4:21
21 And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also. (AMP)
Often in 1 John we see the use of the word “commandment.” It sounds like an unyielding commandment such as the Old Testament Ten Commandments. The Greek word is “entolē” which means “an injunction, charge, precept, or commandment” (Vine’s).
Under the New Covenant, commandments are not the same as Old Covenant. We have been totally accepted by God and we are His children regardless. He is not going to love us any more or any less than He already does. Romans 8:38-39 Paul says, “38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As Jesus sat with his disciples during the Last Supper, I think He told them “this is my charge to you. The world will come to know me by how much you love the brethren. So love them as I have loved you.” We know we can’t love until we know that God loves us. We can’t know love until we know the God of love.
I think love was the most important theme of the preaching of Jesus. He also chose John to be the apostle of love as he emphasized it in his writing. The Holy Spirit pens the word through the personalities of the writers.
We can’t turn on the TV to news or look at news on our cell phones without see the hatred and violence in people. How can people just beat another person for no apparent reason? That will then lead some people to say there is no God or He would do something about it. Well, He did. He sent Jesus to show how much God loves them—all of them. But many have not gotten the word or rejected it. Until everyone knows the love of God, we will see hatred and violence.
Let the love of Jesus flow out of you to a world who needs to see that love in the flesh. This is the message of Christmas.