Love like God -

4 downloads 16 Views 51KB Size Report
Love like God by Rev. ... from God; and everyone who loves is born of. God and knows God. ... By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent ...

Love like God by Rev. Vince Finnegan 1John 4:7and8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. The Apostle John writes under the direction of the spirit; therefore, he is a vehicle of communication for God our Father. Hence, the salutation of “beloved” is heart rending for it says to us that we are dearly loved, dear to our Father’s heart. The exhortation that follows is to love others as God loves us. “Born of God” and godly behavior are convincingly connected throughout the epistle of 1John as is evident in the preceding verses. Loving others and knowing God are also persuasively linked together. By the practice of love, we learn to know God more and more, and conversely, a stranger to love is a stranger to knowing God. The Difference Between Knowing and Not Knowing God is Loving One Another The phrase “God is love” is not interchangeable with “love is God.” Our self-contrived impression of love is

not how we understand God. When we develop a correct biblical understanding of God, we can begin to understand genuine love. Love does not define God; rather, God defines love. All in the world think they know what love is based primarily upon their own limited human experiences. Self-interest and human values provide the core of what most consider to be love. Many take their self-contrived understanding of love and judge God for not loving as they think he should. God is love so logically He is the standard for love. Without God, the lordship of Christ, and the direction of the holy spirit, knowing or practicing true love is impossible. Human love is centered in the flesh, based upon self-interest only, and as such in many ways is the antithesis of God’s love. 1John 4:9 and 10 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Man’s redemption and salvation rest entirely upon the benevolent, gracious, and merciful act of our loving God. He loved us because He decided to do so and not because we were deserving or attractively loveable. The

description of humanity set forth in the Scriptures is shockingly grotesque and is simply summarized in the concept that we were depraved, dead in trespasses and sins, the enemies of God. Yet, though we were in this sorry and ugly state, God sent His only begotten Son to die for us so that we might live with Him. Acknowledging this truth starts to give us understanding about the godly love our Father wants us to live by and manifest forth to our fellow man. We love others the way God loved us because He loved us first. “Why is she giving me these gifts?” I responded, “Because it is your birthday.” “She doesn’t even know me, so why would she give me gifts?” I said, “Because she loves you!” “Why would she love me if she doesn’t even know who I am?” “She loves you because God loves her and tells her to love others as He loved her.” My words were heard but not necessarily understood as this soul recently made inquiry about my wife’s actions. Our standard for love is based upon God and not what others do or don’t do or what they deserve or don’t deserve. We love others the way God loves us. 1John 4:11 and 12 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

In the same breath of exhortation to love one another, we are reminded that we are God’s beloved and that He loves us. Until we enter the Kingdom in the age to come, we have limitations with our relationship with God. However, the great enhancer to grow as close to Him as possible is to love one another. How can we ever raise to such a level of love? The prayer in Ephesians gives us some insight as does the last verse we consider in the epistle of 1John. The spirit enables us to have Christ in our minds and love in our lives. Ephesians 3:16 and 17 …to be strengthened with power through His spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and grounded in love… 1John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His spirit. The only way we can love others the way God loves us is with His help through the holy spirit. “God, help us to be like You and to love as You love, all to Your glory.”