John – Know God to Know Love
Many are looking for love, true love in all the wrong places as the old country song goes. Love is twisted into a “thing” that is unrecognizable to God and full of judgmental conditions. It is no longer pure and simple when the world translates it and tragically displays love as something man alone can produce. Love is cheapened and desecrated as portrayed in unholy media presentations.
Yes, the two most difficult things to get straight in life are love and God. More often than not, the mess people make of their lives can be traced back to failure or stupidity or meanness in one or both of these areas.
The basic and biblical Christian conviction is that the two subjects are intricately related. If we want to deal with God the right way, we have to learn to love the right way. If we want o love the right way, we have to deal with God the right way. God and love can NOT be separated.
John’s three letters provide wonderfully explicit direction in how this works. Jesus, the Messiah, is the focus: Jesus provides the full and true understanding of God; Jesus shows us the mature working-out of love. In Jesus, God and love are linked accurately, intricately and indissolubly.
But there are always people around who don’t want to be pinned down to the God Jesus reveals, to the love Jesus reveals. They want to make up their own idea of God, make up their own style of love. John was pastor to a church (or churches) disrupted by some of these people. In his letters we see him reestablishing the original and organic unity of God and love that comes to focus ad becomes available to us in Jesus Christ.
As we read John’s letters in the coming week, may God’s Holy Spirit speak to our own hearts about His inseparable link with His love. May our minds be opened to understand that to know God is the only way to know Love. Love God first, know His story of salvation. Be humbly repentant and grateful. Love others like He loved us first. That is the story of true love.
1 John 1, The Message
1-2 From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.
3-4 We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!
Dear Heavenly Father,
John’s “love letters” to us, your children, dearly loved by You will affect how we think and behave. May every thought and action be guided by Your love for us. Help us to know you more so that we can love more deeply. Thank you for the joy your love gives to every part of our redeemed lives.
In Jesus Name, Amen