I John 4:19-21– We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
Powerful verses. John writes about love, and in this letter alone he uses the word 26 times.
It is obviously a point that he is trying to get across here.
John is writing this command to love others short and to the point. “Blunt”, as The Message version says.
Blunt–saying or expressing something in a very direct way that may upset some people.
Saying what I mean and meaning what I say. Kind of like when I tell my kids to clean their room. That is what I mean. I expect it to be accomplished. There is not room for any gray in that command. No excuses, and not the dreaded “But”.
We are supposed to love those around us. If we claim to love God, whom we cannot see, we must love those we can. If not, where is our love for God? Do we truly love HIm?
Words can be cheap. If they are not followed up by action, what good does it really do? James, in his letter, says the demons believe in God too….and shudder.
Faith. Love. Without actions, these are nothing but words that we say.
Those of you who remember the 90’s and the group DC Talk might remember a hit song they had, Luv is a verb. One of the lines: It was black and white with no room for grey. No if, ands, or buts. We are to show the love of Christ to others.
The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person; that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for others.
It is shown most clearly by what it does.
We are told to love others, whether friend or foe.
When I see this described in such a way, I think of Philippians 2:3-5–Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but consider others better than yourselves…
Agape love is shown most clearly by what it does.
It's a love that can only come from the source–God. So for us to show this love to others, again, we must be plugged into the Source–we must remain and abide in the vine.
Where love for God is, love for others must be also, for where love is not shown to others, there is an absence of a love for God.
1 John 3:16-18– We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
As we go this week, let’s put this love into action as Pastor Dave challenged us on Sunday morning. Be aware of where God wants to use you.
You are so cut out to do this! God has a purpose and plan for all of us. We CAN show the love of Christ to others!!!
Have a great day!