“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
I think the most over used word in the world is “love”. Why then does it seem like there is far less real love in our world then there should be? Think about it…how often do we just throw that word out there towards things that mean absolutely nothing at the end of the day?
Things like…“I LOVE chocolate”
Or….“I LOVE that band so much!”
And even….“I LOVE football”
Really? Is that really love?
Why don’t we, as Christians, spend less time loving things and more time loving….each other? I find it is frustrating to see the state of things in the world and how little love there really is. I mean TRUE love. It doesn’t necessarily surprise me because the enemy is at play and he is very busy but it does frustrate me! Especially among my Christian friends who I see on social media using language that is not Christ filled and putting forth energy so full of hate that it can only serve one thing – themselves. It’s certainly not about the love we are called to give and definitely not a love that represents Christ.
Look, I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. When I truly get into a hobby or find something I really enjoy, I can become extremely passionate about it. More over, I can be really lazy when it comes to putting REAL love where it should go! However, the language we use is important and the actions we take are equally as important and this reminder is as much
for myself as it is anyone else…
“Beloved, I am writing no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The only commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him, there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:7-11
The long and short of that verse is that we are literally called to love as Christ loved us. And considering Christ died on the cross for EVERYONE…..remember John 3:16 says “For God so loved THE WORLD”….not just those who we agree with, not just those who look like us…or who vote like us…but THE WORLD. Who then are we called to love? All of God’s children. The light represented in that scripture is Jesus. If you’re not loving the way Christ did, then you’re walking in the darkness. In other words…separate from Christ!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
That’s not the same kind of love that I have for the Toronto Blue Jays! Or that my very pregnant taste buds tell me I love chocolate…it’s a kind of love that transcends everything. It’s a kind of love that when we give it, people have a chance to see Jesus THROUGH us! I long for a heart that can give that kind of love and can recognize to receive it as well. Jesus, help me to have a heart like you!
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement. Because as he is so also are we in this world.”
1 John 4:16-17
It is my belief that the only way to find that kind of love is by coming to know Jesus. It’s a kind of love experienced when He is in control of our life. Every other kind of love that the world tries to teach us about is about serving “self”. So, if we know Jesus and He is the center of our heart, this is the kind of love that we should be putting forth into the world and it should be evident in all aspects of our lives. The language we speak, the actions we take…should all point back to Christ.
One of my favorite scriptures also comes from 1 John and it’s chapter 4 verse 19 and it’s so simple yet so powerful and should really drive home this point…
“We love because he first loved us.”
The first time I read that….I cried. Like, full on ugly tears kind of crying. It’s a verse I never forgot and something that I had never thought of before reading it! It seems so simple yet it’s so often forgotten. He is the reason we love.
I’m going to end this post by continuing with the next couple of verses because I find that it helps me to remember just how we are called to love as He loves us and how what’s in our heart can really be the thing that’s stopping us from knowing the true love of Christ and how when we finally find it, it’s IN that true love of Jesus where we find victory.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:20-21
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5