Monday, September 10, 2012

Love Is...

1 John 4:7-21  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  (8)  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  (9)  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  (10)  Herein 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 ought also to love one another.  (12)  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  (13)  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  (14)  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  (15)  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  (16)  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  (17)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  (18)  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  (19)  We love him, because he first loved us.  (20)  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  (21)  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

[1]  “Love is the most misunderstood thing in the world.  It is something we all desire…

Our classic definition of love is given to us in 1 Corinthians 13:13.   We are told that we have abiding within us, “…faith, hope and charity [love]...but the greatest of these is charity. [love]”

1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

God, in His love for us sent His “only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”  (V10) tells us that God’s action demonstrates His love for us.  God later magnified His Love by placing His “only begotten Son” on that cruel “Old Rugged Cross” to die for our sins.  Jesus is “the propitiation for our sins.”  Propitiation is defined as “the atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to assuage his wrath to sinners.”  God allowed His Son to take our place on that “Old Rugged Cross.”
                Our “love” for God comes only after our realization of what God has done for a sinner “like me.”  This is the beginning of our love for God and His Son Jesus.  As we age in our walk with God and His Son, we find the closer we draw to God the more we love Him.  However, (there always seems to be a “however.”)   Our growth depends on how we “as Lovers” walk with God.

Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

To “draw near,” our heart must be right.  In our text (v 11) “we ought also to love one another.”   “Loving one another” shows we have a “true heart,” and within our heart lays our “assurance of faith.”   Knowing, we have a “true heart” we must also have a repentant heart “sprinkled from an evil conscience,” a conscience that is humbled and has asked God for His forgiveness, and begged for the help needed to walk away from our abiding sins.
                Jesus tells us in “The Book of John,” if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

                Herein is our problem.   We claim the love of God, we claim He loves us, and at times we claim to love Him.    We beg for all God will give.   We want multiplying blessings, a never-ending supply.   We want our “cup [to] runneth over” in terms of God’s blessings. 

Psalms 23:5   Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over

God has anointed all that have called on His Son’s name.  As Christians we are anointed with His Blood, and He is our Passover Lamb.
                So, my question is: “If you walk with Him, talk with Him, and claim Him, why are you not announcing your Love for Him by “keep[ing] my commandments?  We know we are not perfect, we know we cannot completely abide within His commandments, but what is keeping you from trying your best to Love Him with all of your heart, your soul, and your might?”

Deuteronomy 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

As the shoe guy used to put it, just “Do it.”
Bro John R. E Chastain
Baptist Evangelist
Wylie, Texas              


[1] “We Have Passed From Death Unto Life”, Dr. Clearance Sexton, Crown Christian Publications, September, 2007 Chapter 11 page 125.

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