v 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Love is the one necessary characteristic that defines the life of a Jesus-follower. It is not a question of knowing a lot of stuff, giving a load of stuff, or keeping in with the right people. The fundamental issue is one of love.
First, are you aware of how much God loves you? Do you appreciate, deep down in your being, that God loves you so much that He was willing to give His own son, Jesus, to rescue you from the pits of sin? Has the ‘We know …’ at the beginning of this verse become ‘I know … ‘? This is not intellectual knowledge won from books, but the faith-knowledge that comes from trusting the God who is love. If you live in the light and confidence of that love then you are living ‘In God’, which implies a personal connection with God. You are no longer an outsider looking in on God, but an insider enjoying the presence of God in your life.
And then, even more extraordinary, do you appreciate that being loved by God and trusting His love means that God lives in you! The eternal God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, lives in you by His Spirit. His presence brings peace into life and gives confidence for the future. We will no longer be drifting about, victims of both time and space, we are upheld by the Sovereign and all-powerful God Who has plans for our good.
All of this springs from His love for those He has created and His good purposes for those He has redeemed.