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1 John 4:12b (NKJV)

If we love one another, God abides in us,
and His love has been perfected in us.

Bible Commentary

1 John 4:12b is a living and active Bible verse from the New Testament that challenges us to choose love in relating to others.

We see this instruction scattered throughout the whole Bible, that we should love one another and treat others the way we want to be treated. We know the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is like it, to love others.

I, for one, approached that instruction as a life philosophy, or an overall life strategy, instead of a moment-by-moment opportunity. Until today.


As we encounter inevitable conflicts with others throughout the day, we have a choice in how we react. We either lash out in frustration, choosing the sinful desires of our flesh, or we deliberately submit to the Spirit.

When we make the choice to submit to the Spirt, we push back the desires of the flesh, which allows for entry of the Spirit in love. That’s how God’s love is perfected in us, as John 4:12 says.

If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

God’s love is always present in us, but it gets trapped by all the “flesh” in us—our willful choice to live in our selfish desires. We must deliberately and consciously choose to submit to the Holy Spirit within us.


Pride is a very powerful force. It resides in our flesh, and it is of the devil, not God. 1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

We get annoyed or frustrated with others because they don’t do things the way we would do them, or they don’t “measure up” to our standards in some way. “We wouldn’t have done that or said that,” so we reserve the right to condemn or judge them.

We must be very careful. That is not an attitude of righteousness, but pride.

Unlocking the Truth - Choose Love

It takes practice and a deliberate decision of the will, but with the help of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we can overcome the old pattern of behavior deeply engrained within us. (Hebrews 12:1)

The next time you have a conflict with someone, suppress your earthly instincts to lash out in anger (whether out loud or in your mind), and instead choose love. See what happens.

When we release love (that has been bound within us) toward someone else, we receive it back.


Matthew 7:2
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Maybe as I have, you’ve been waiting for the fulfillment of a promise God made you. We wonder what’s taking God so long.

Maybe He’s waiting on us! He’s waiting for us to release Him from within. If we feel trapped in a situation we’re in—work-related, financial, and relational—imagine how God feels! The riches of Christ are available to us, but we keep suppressing the love of God within us! Read 1 John 4:12b again:

If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

When we choose love over our fleshly emotion, God shows up! And when He shows up, He stays. “Abide” in the Greek means: to stay, continue, and endure. Whatever measure of love He releases when we choose love, it stays with us. Imagine the vast amount of love in His storehouse for us if we will only choose love each time we have the opportunity.

As we begin to master this by the power of the Holy Spirit, His love is perfected in us. “Perfected” in the Greek means: to complete, accomplish or consummate. There is so much He is waiting to release in and through us. But it’s up to us to choose love. That’s when we will see the fulfillment of His promises in our lives.

Study the Bible verse of 1 John 4:12b and choose love.



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