Love, Not an Option


From Pastor’s Desk: 1-17-15

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

***

Again, gotta’ put the negative with the positive! That being, if everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God then those who don’t love has not been born of God and have no hope of knowing Him! Pretty thin line, I suppose, but if we’re going to take the word of God as His word, then we should adhere to it all.

Jesus said “I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24). John deals with the same issue quite extensively in his letters. In the first epistle he tells us, “So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. Anyone who does not obey God’s commands and does not love other Christians does not belong to God. This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” (1 John 3:10-11). He continues in verse 14, “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” The remainder of chapter 3 is worth reading in this context as well.

When John refers to the person who has no love as being still dead, he is reinforcing the principle that before we accept Christ as Savior, we are dead in, and as a result of, sin.

Some people, and that includes all of us, are sometimes unlovable. Human nature being what it is, and born into and under the curse of sin, we, if we’re honest could not blame God if just threw us “to the wind” and left us on our own because of our so unlovable. But yet “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8). Further, He “…so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” and He “…did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it” (John 3:16-17).

So what makes us think we have the option to choose, among the unlovely and ungodly, those whom we will love or not? And in the family of God we have no option to treat some with respect, or favor, while others are treated with distaste, even disdain because they don’t “measure up” to OUR standards.

Might do us well to stop and remember all those whom Jesus made contact with and touched with His healing virtue, His miraculous power, and His saving power. He did not cast them aside but met their need(s) where they were.

Should we not, as His body, love as He loved? I have found that love is not a passive word, but one of action. We should follow the example of God, the Father, and God, the Son: “For God so loved that He gave….”

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