Daily Reading: (1 John 4:7-11):
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Love (agape) according to Percept Austin Word Study is unconditional, sacrificial love and Biblically refers to a love that God is (1 John 4:8,16), that God shows (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9) and that God gives as a manifestation of His Spirit's bearing fruit in the heart of a yielded saint.
Biblical agape is the love of serving with humility, the love of the will (intentional, a conscious choice) and not motivated by superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship. Agape is not based on pleasant emotions or good feelings that might result from a physical attraction or a familiar bond. Agape chooses as an act of self-sacrifice to serve the recipient. Jesus said – Matthew 5:44: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
God tells us in the Bible that knowing Him results in being a loving person (1 John 4:8). His promise to us is those who know Him, those who are born again, will be loving people.
"Why command a person to love who can't help but love?" is that God intends to fulfill his promise through the use of His Word. God has ordained to keep us alive in love by the regular feeding of his Word that the Spirit has provided for the nourishment of the saints, so that our love will thrive.
John defines living by loving. He is not saying if you don’t love with this unconditional love you are kicked out of the family. This isn’t referring to salvation, this is referring to friendship. If you don’t love --you don’t know God like you think you do. You know God to the level you love like Him. The amount of love you receive is the level you will be able to love at.
When you believe in God’s love for you, your self-esteem is on unshakable ground (1 John 4:9). “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (I John 4:11 KJV). Beloved (agapētos) means worthy of love”. It means, “agaped one”. Why would we be worthy of love—because Jesus died for us (1 John 4:10).