“Whoever confesses and acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in Him.”
– 1 John 4:15-16
Observation and experience are used as a foundation when it comes to learning anything. Think about a science lab, the first thing that happens after a new topic has been introduced is observation. You watch your teacher, or some other expert, complete the task. If you are truly invested in fully understanding the concept, you will carefully watch them, staying focused and avoiding distraction. After you have observed the process carefully, you are ready to try it yourself. This is your chance to experience what you have only been able to observe. After completing the task multiple times, you will become an expert and people may be sent to observe you.
In 1 John 4:15-16, we read about the connection we should have to God’s love. Our understanding isn’t just based in the stories that we hear from others. In verse 16 it says, “We have come to know by personal observation and experience…” Observation is the action or process of observing something or someone carefully in order to gain information and experience by personally encountering or undergoing something. The way we come to know and understand God’s love is through direct observation and experience. This means we have seen God’s love work in the lives of others and have personally encountered His love for ourselves. Just like in our example, after we have observed and experienced God’s love, we can’t help but to share it with others. God’s love is beaming from within us and we become experts in showing love, which allows others to observe and experience it for themselves.
Do you remember a time when you observed and experienced God’s love? Spend some time thinking about that moment and how it has changed your life.
Find peace in His embrace,