Lee Sommtiz (Paraphrase)
1 John 4:7 Being so highly cherished by God, we should also love others. He IS the source of love and all who are personally Fathered by Him are compelled to love people. 8 People who don’t love others don’t really know God, for love is such an essential part of who God IS! 9 There was no greater manifestation or revelation of God’s love than when He sent His Only begotten Son into this world, enabling people to begin really living through Him. 10 Now we see true love, not ours, but His amazing and generous love, which compelled Him to send His Son to restore a way for people to be in relationship with Him, paying dearly for what our stubborn independence severed. 11 Priceless ones, when you realize the magnitude of His love for you, is it too much for Him to ask you to love each other? 12 None of us has ever seen the full extent of God’s glory, but every time we choose to love another, we get still closer to Him and more mature in loving (move closer to the perfect way that God loves). 13 This practice also increases our confidence that we are in an intimate relationship with Him and the Spirit He has given to us confirms that. 14 We saw for ourselves and are proclaiming to you all, that the Father sent His Son to save us all! 15 Everyone who genuinely believes that Jesus is God’s perfect Son and is proclaiming it Has God in their life and lives in an intimate relationship with Him. 16 All who are in this fellowship are deepening in their believing in Him and the magnitude of His love for everyone. Love is fundamental to God’s nature, people who are giving themselves over to loving others are dwelling in an intimate relationship with God. 17 That is how love grows in our lives and in the process, we gain confidence as the judgment day draws nearer because we will be growing closer to His character. 18 God’s way of loving powerfully drives out the kind of fear we associate with receiving punishment from Him. That perspective on fear misses God’s unconditional love and prevents us from fully growing in loving others unconditionally. 19 We can only love that way after embracing that He loves us unconditionally. 20 People who you see refusing to love others, yet profess to love God are self deceived. For those who choose not to love the people they interact with, cannot possibly choose to love the unseen God. 21 And don’t forget this commandment He gave us, that those who would love God must also love people.