Beginning in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, God reveals His name and attributes that we might know Him. He tells Moses that He is "I Am that I Am." He is holy, powerful, our Judge. Our response should be reverence. God is also Love.
How could that name possibly be misconstrued? Can we switch it around and say Love is God? Love reigns supreme? That makes Love (or God) into just an idea or feeling. It's a slippery reversal that can end in the height of idolatry.
But God is loving. God's essence is Love and He's the source of all Love. Read I John 4 again.
It's unfortunate that some modern translations of the Bible leave out the word, "begotten," in John 3:16. Jesus as God's only begotten Son marks their same nature, their same genes, so to speak, their same essence.
John is writing about God's love here at the end of his life, all alone, everyone else had been martyred. Just like the peace not based on circumstances that we talked about last week, this love is far greater than some sappy feeling.
Our anthem was Aurelius Clemens Prudentius' (348-410) praise poem:
"Of the Father’s love begotten
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega —
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see
evermore and evermore."