What I read this morning:
1 John 4-5; Acts 1-2; Nahum 2-3; Proverbs 18; Ecclesiastes 8; Deuteronomy 21
The Apostle John is often called the Apostle of Love. When you read the Gospel of John, and his three letters Love is the theme throughout nearly every word. It got me to thinking this morning as I read 1 John chapters 4-5, what is Love?
Could love be the smile of your children? Does it mean your in love when you are physically attracted to someone? Can love be the feeling your pets have for you? If I don’t really like someone, does that mean that I don’t have love in my heart?
Love is complicated, isn’t it? It’s not some pure emotion that we can tap into whenever the need arises in us. Love is something we do, and it is something that becomes apart of us. Love is doing something for someone even when it might hurt. Love is putting aside the hurt that someone may have caused us and showing mercy instead of revenge. Love is looking past someone’s failings to see the good inside of them. Love means putting others before ourselves. Love sometimes means not running to the rescue of a child, even though we so desperately want to helicopter in, because they need to learn a lesson of life. Love also means sometimes rescuing that very same child because they need you to. Wisdom knows when to save and when not to.
In truth, love is looking at people like God looks at us. Love is looking past the surface of a person and seeing the heart and soul of that person. Love is seeing Jesus in places where we wouldn’t think to look for Jesus.
More importantly, love is allowing Jesus to take over our hearts and minds and allowing him to use us to serve one another. While that sounds simplistic, it really is the most challenging task that Jesus has given us.
Here’s what the Apostle John says about Love in 1 John 4 vs. 7-21
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only 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 atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” NRSV
May we strive to live a life of Love always.