17 If a person owns the kinds of things we need to make it in the world but refuses to share with those in need, is it even possible that God’s love lives in him? 18 My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.
19-20 There is a sure way for us to know that we belong to the truth. Even though our inner thoughts may condemn us with storms of guilt and constant reminders of our failures, we can know in our hearts that in His presence God Himself is greater than any accusation. He knows all things. 21 My loved ones, if our hearts cannot condemn us, then we can stand with confidence before God. 22 Whatever we may ask, we receive it from Him because we follow His commands and take the path that pleases Him. 23 His command is clear: believe in the name of His Son, Jesus the Anointed, and love one another as He commanded. 24 The one who follows His teaching and walks this path lives in an intimate relationship with God. How do we know that He lives in us? By the gift of His Spirit.