Beloved, Let Us Love One Another.
For Love Comes From God.
And Everyone That Loves Is Born of God And Knows God.
Those Who Do Not Love Do Not Know God:
FOR GOD IS LOVE
The Apostle John
1 John 4:7-8
Just yesterday, a young woman whom I admire, and who is on the complete opposite spectrum from me politically, asked me a question. She seemed so distraught, and my heart was hurting for her. She asked something like this: “What does God want?” Now, these may not be her exact words; however, I think that I have the spirit of her question.
I responded to her, “He wants us to love one another, but we don’t seem to be cooperating with him.” Her question is perhaps one of the most important questions any person of faith should be asking right now. I would only extend her question to ask, “What does God want of me.” After all, the only person I can come close to having control over is me, myself and I. And there is no way I can control what others believe, feel, want or do. Attempting to do so will only lead me to frustration, anxiety and unnecessary pain.
What Does God Want of Me?
From the ancient promise written at the top of this blog, one thing the Almighty wants of us is for us to know that we are beloved. We matter to God, and God wants you and me to pass the love around. Not only are we beloved, but God clearly ask you and me to, “love one another.” If you or I are loved, we need to know it, but just as importantly we need to show it. We need to show this love we have received as God’s beloved to “one another.” The Lord wants us to show it to our friends, our relatives, our associates and our neighbors on and off of social media. This includes people who lean to the left, lean to the right, are sitting in dead center of the political spectrum and anywhere else in between.
Where Do We Get This Love?
The next question is, Where do we get this love? I can tell you one thing. You will NOT get this love from Fox, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, The Blaze, Townhall.com or The Clarion, neither from the argumentative twitter feed. Nor will you get love from the volatile political rhetoric found on Facebook or other social media. You will not get it believing everything you read, view or hear on the news. News channels are about ratings not love. You will NOT get it from the world system that is not about love, or doing what is right. You certainly cannot find authentic love in an immoral embrace of another human being where lust is confused with love.
Love has absolutely one source: Love Comes From God. You cannot conjure up love from the pit of your stomach. You cannot work some magical spell like “love potion number nine.” You cannot wish for it and get it. You cannot hope for it and get it. You can, however, surrender to the Almighty, through faith in the Lord Jesus. You can turn from your brokenness, pain and sin, to God seeking forgiveness of your sins. You can invite Jesus into your life, and thereby receive the love given by the eternal God who “so loved the world (including you) that he gave his only biological son.” You can surrender your life to the one of whom it is said, “There is no greater love than this, that you lay down your life for a friend.” And Jesus loved you so powerfully that Jesus did this precisely for Y-O-U. He laid down his life for you so you can live and be loved. Believe this and receive this by faith, and you are on the right track for answering this important question, “What does God want from me?”
What About People Who Are of Other Religions Or Who Have No Religion At All?
I can answer this in ONE sentence: “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” I think it is very clear. God’s love is offered to every single person on the earth. Our role is no different in relating to others.
What’s It Like To Be Loved Like This?
What is it like to have such a relationship with the loving Lord and Savior? What is it like to be loved in a way shared above? It is like being reborn: As a matter of fact, this is precisely what Jesus says. In John 3, it is a must we must do … be “born again.” When you believe this “Jesus love” is for you, and when your receive this love in you, your spirit that died, when our ancestors and you sinned, comes to life. You experience your spirit’s resurrection from the death which God warned Adam and Eve about. This spirit is the part of us that is God conscious. This is the part of us that gives us the love relationship with God. We no longer are just body conscious. We are no longer just self conscious or soul conscious that may lead to selfishness. We now live as folks who are beloved and God conscious, and we become empowered by the Holy Spirit to be conduits or channels of the love of The Creator of the Universe. This makes us new creations, adopted children of God, friends of Jesus, Ambassadors of Christ who receive love and have the power to give love because we are “born of God.” And we “Know God.”
What About If We Don’t Love?
Failure to love is evidence of somethings we may not want to hear: Those who “do not love do NOT KNOW GOD.” Now the aging Apostle John did not mince words here. He did not express half measures. He did not say, “God will understand if you do not love others.” I don’t think we can misunderstand how emphatically he stated God’s case. You may have attended the finest of seminaries, be the Pastor or associate Pastor of a large church. You may be a Chaplain, a Rabbi, a Sunday School Teacher, A Counselor. You may be a lofty religious leader. You may be a person who barely participates in worship or meets with others in Church on Sunday. Or you may publicly present a Holy Joe or Holy Jane public personna. This truth of the ancient wise man, John, is straight from God. “If you don’t love, you don’t know GOD!”
Why is John so sure of this strong statement? He responds very quickly and says, you cannot know God if you don’t love because, “GOD IS LOVE.” If there is anything true about God, this is one ABSOLUTE Truth! God IS Love. If God is love, and God is the Divine parent of we whom God’s adopts as children, then God certainly would rub off on us. Children don’t really adopt values and how to behave from giving them a checklist of rules. Their values, salvation and even love are not taught by mere words, they are caught being recipients of the benefits of the salvation, values and love. I know what is to love and how to love because I have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Because God is love, God is patient with me, kind to me, not envious of me, not arrogant or rude toward me. God is not selfish. God is not easily angered with me. God is not constantly keeping a checklist of what I am doing wrong. God isn’t happy when I get into evil stuff, but God rejoices when I grasp the truth. God protects me. God trusts me. God gives me hope. God perseveres with me. God never has failed me. (By the way, these are all attributes of agape love. (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8) So, God IS LOVE. And as one who is loved like this, it is more easy for me to love because I know (experience) God in order to love others.
So, I think one thing is clear. God want’s you and me to love one another. He wants to do this because God is the source of love for those who know God. When we don’t love we clearly demonstrate that we don’t know God. Why? Because God, our heavenly parent IS love, and God is more than willing and able to give us the power to love.
Child of God: Be humble before God today. And daily give up yourself to God through faith in Christ. Know how beloved you are to the Creator. Let God light up your life with God’s love. Let God make you into the “salt of the earth” so that you can put the savor of His love in the lives of those who surround you … even on social media.
Dear Loving Heavenly Father,
Thank you so very much for loving us. Give us grace to authentically love one another with the love that can come only from you. Give us grace to really know you, experience you, journey with you each day, as we open our hearts to believe in and receive your Son, Jesus. Give us supernatural power to live as reborn people who love YOU Lord God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds and all our strength. And give us the grace to love our neighbors, even those different from us, as we love ourselves. Thank you that, God, you are indeed love, and give we who are your children the power to love others.
In Jesus Name.