Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Look at Love

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 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. 10 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.  1John 4:7-12

There are a number of things that struck me about these verses, most of them not very profound, but if they were profound they wouldn’t be coming from me.

Verse seven doesn’t read “some love” is from God, it reads love is from God. Therefore there is no other source.  Everyone who loves is born of God and knows Him.  The word “everyone” seems pretty all inclusive to me.  Verse eight suggests to me that when I am acting in an unloving way it is an indication that I do not know God.  It doesn’t mean that I have lost the intellectual knowledge of him, it means that I don’t love Him at the heart level nearly enough because if I did I wouldn’t act in an unloving way.

The last verse is scary because it suggests to me that the only way anyone is going to see God is when I or one of His children act in a way that exhibits God’s love.  So if my wife or children or neighbor has a hard time believing in God it might infer that they aren’t experiencing His love when they see me, a professed born again Christian.

Consider how we form opinions of people, perhaps even some people groups.  There are certain stereotypes, we read about them, we see them portrayed in films or on TV or in some cases we have met them and they have met us.  When we are in a foreign land those people you meet base some of their impressions of all Americans on their impression of you.

We are the face of God.  Whether or not we tell someone we are a Christian our behavior is either friendly, open and/or inviting or it’s not.  Some who know us best may have a hard time accepting the love of Christ because they don’t see it in us.

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