Verse of the Day – July 7, 2023

Verse of the Day – July 7, 2023

July 07, 2023 – Friday

1 John 4:19     NKJV

19 We love Him because He first loved us.


Curious about the word love in the Bible, found in the NKJV it occurs 267 times in the Old Testament and 237 times in the New Testament. If you are looking for it in the Old Testament, go to Psalms where it occurs 48 times, Song of Solomon 37 times, Proverbs 28 times, and Deuteronomy 24 times. In the New Testament go to John where it occurs 39 times, 1 John 26 times, Romans 16 times, Ephesians 15 times, 1 Corinthians 14 times and 2 Corinthians 13 times. The two single chapter books in the New Testament, both with 25 verses, in Jude it occurs 4 times and in Philemon 3 times. 

I have chosen a verse from 1 John for today as 26 out of 105 verses have the word love at least once or 1 out of every four verses. However, in those 26 verses the word love occurs 46 times! Thus I think 1 John would win hands down as the in the Bible that most often mentions love on a per verse basis. 

With all of that in mind let’s look at our verse for today, 19 We love Him because He first loved us.  And for context we need the following two verses, 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Every use of the word love in the verses above is some version of Strong’s G25, agapaó: to love. That seems simply too succinct, so here is what HELPS Word-studies also provides; agapáō – properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ”, i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power. Also (agapáō) preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love.”  And then adds, With the believer, agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True agapáō (“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection”. 

David Guzik noted Charles Spurgeon on 4:19 alone, preached five remarkable sermons on these eight words alone. Beginning with, We love Him: In this great statement, John begins by declaring the heart of every true follower of Jesus Christ. Simply and boldly put, we love Him. This is a fact for every true follower of Jesus. “There is no exception to this rule; if a man loves not God, neither is he born of God.” (Spurgeon)

“I cannot imagine a true man saying, ‘I love Christ, but I do not want others to know that I love him, lest they should laugh at me.’ That is a reason to be laughed at, or rather, to be wept over. Afraid of being laughed at? Oh sir, this is indeed a cowardly fear!” (Spurgeon)

Guzik writes, He first loved us: This verse not only declares our love for Jesus, it also tells us when He loved us. Some people imagine that Jesus loved us because He knew we would love Him and come to faith in Him. But He loved us before that, and even before the worlds were created, when our only existence was in the mind and heart of God, Jesus loved us. And Spurgeon says, He loved us when we were still sinners: “Every man that ever was saved had to come to God not as a lover of God, but as a sinner, and then believe in God’s love to him as a sinner.” 

Bottom Line: Loving Jesus is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, but instead to make known about us as Christians, followers of Jesus. 

Prayer: Almighty God, We love Your Son. Let us never be afraid to say that. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

RileyD, nwJ     

Riley D. Driver – Pastor          

Calvary Chapel of Dayton    

in Beavercreek