Whoever does not LOVE does not know God, because God is love – 1 John 4:8
I see these signs all over my neighborhood. But it begs the question... What is love? How do you define it? The word love in the verse above is (agapaō) which means to be well pleased with, contented with, and fond of. And to “know” in this context is (ginōskō) which means to feel, understand, perceive, have intimate knowledge of. Do you LOVE your neighbor? What if they have different political ideals? What if they are of a different social class, or race, or ideology? Honestly, are you well pleased with them? Are you contented with them? Are you fond of them? The truth is, this kind of love cannot be somehow worked up by our own effort. It must flow out of our intimacy with God – we must KNOW Him. This knowledge and experience of love must be received before it can be given and it can only come from God. Notice, he doesn’t say “love is God.” He says “God is love.” We live in a culture that increasingly defines “love” as something very un-godly. When you remove God from “love” it is no longer love. Note, these signs say “love is love” – literally taking God out of the equation. They are insisting on their own definition of love. But it is not love. It is quite the opposite. And out of that intolerance for the supremacy of God, who defines love – who IS love, they have built a movement of hate… calling it love. The underlying anger in our culture… the underlying tension that continues to build… is not based in love. It is based on a lie. It claims tolerance while insisting on conformity. It claims peace and unity while breeding division. It claims love while being fueled by hate. Our only hope as individuals is to know God through His Son. Our only hope as a nation is to turn to Him. In the last days, Scripture teaches us that Jesus’ disciples will be known by our LOVE for one another. But the very love of God working in and through us, will be portrayed as hate by those given over to the evil one. Speaking the truth about sin… out of love… is being defined as hate. Proclaiming the good news of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ… out of love… is defined as intolerant. Standing up for the lives of the innocent… speaking out for the unborn… out of love… is defined as hurting women. Nevertheless, because we know the love of God, we will be a light in the darkness. We will proclaim God’s love… a love that paid a great price to set us free from sin - not allow us to wallow in it. This is a message of love... For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. Do you believe in Jesus? Have you entered into a covenant relationship proclaiming him as Lord of your life? Whoever confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in their heart that God raised him from the dead… shall be saved. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life… no one comes to the Father except through me.” God's love was made known to us all through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of His Son. We come to know His love for ourselves through His Son. And we show the world His love by the gospel of the good news of His Son.
If you want to know this love, join me in this prayer… Lord, I proclaim Jesus as Lord of my life. I surrender all to Him. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness by the blood of Your Son. And fill me with your Holy Spirit. I want to know you. I want to know your love in all its fullness. Help me this day to keep always before me the power, majesty and beauty of your love. It is so easy to be consumed by the cares of life which are, in the end, so utterly unfulfilling and empty. The only thing that ever has or ever will satisfy is your love. Burn away everything that hinders the flow of your love in and through my life. Grant me the grace to be a reflection of the love you have shown me. Empower me and enable me to love as you love.
May it be so in Jesus’ name