This Is Love…

1 John 4:10 (NIV)

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

As I read our Verse of the Day, I realized that I had quoted it in my comments yesterday.  I want to share a few comments on this specific verse for us.  Note that love does not originate with us or within us.  The root and source of love is God Himself.  John testifies to this truth when he wrote: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (Cf. 1 John 4:8) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (Cf. 1 John 4:16) Indeed, I encourage you to read through the entire chapter of 1 John 4.

God loved us first! And the love we have for Him and one another is simply our response to His love.  As all the Apostles have attested, the love of God is most definitively expressed and manifested in His Son, Christ Jesus, whom He sent into the world.  If there is any message that God wants to reveal to us (His created beings), it is the magnitude and depth of His love. Yes, I recite and join with Paul in his prayer: “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Cf. Ephesians 3:16-19)     

And I believe John was inspired to drive home the purpose of love: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. (Cf. 1 John 4:11-12) When we love one another HIS love is made complete in us and through us. Love comes full circle when our response to God for His love is demonstrated through loving others in the same manner as He loved us in Christ! I love how Paul articulates this concept:

Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

So, as we are reminded this week of the excellence of love … the preeminence of love … let us set our minds and hearts on Jesus! For the Son is the brightness and radiance of God’s glory, and He is the exact representation (expressed image) of His Being. He upholds and sustains all things by His powerful word. After Jesus had provided purification (atonement) for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Cf. Hebrews 1:3) Yes, in this world we are called to be like Jesus … to be His hands and feet … as members of His Body – the Church.  Let us live as Jesus lived. Amen.

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

We love because He first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. ~ 1 John 4:19-21

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