“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 to failure or stupidity or meanness in one or both of these areas.
The basic and biblical, believers in Jesus, conviction is that the two subjects are intricately related. If we want to deal, (relate), with God the right way, we have to learn to love the right way. If we want to love the right way, we have to deal with God the right ways. God and love can’t be separated. (Read that again.)
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 a 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 and becomes available to us in Jesus Christ.” (Introduction by Eugene Peterson, The Message)
God IS Love. Know God, talk and commune with Him, to begin to know and grow Love. As we read, keep Jesus in focus as we look and recall all the actions of Jesus’ love as shown to people then and to us now. I pray we grasp the pure love of God and hold on tight. And let it begin today…
JOHN—LOVE AND GOD
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!
Walk in the Light
5 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
6-7 If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.
8-10 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—simply come clean about them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
STEPS TO TAKE WITH WHAT WE KNOW—
- First, admit and confess our sins.
- God loves us and forgives our sins because of Jesus who paid our debt of sin. So, we love and forgive others who sin against us.
- To know God is to know Love. We love because He first loved us.
- God and Love cannot be separated. To love like God, we cannot separate our lives in pieces by loving some and rejecting others with the love of God in us. That is not His way to love. That is human nature love which is fickle and unreliable.
- To be in an intimate relationship with God, to be in communion with Him and His Son, we must love like He loves us—purely, holy, without conditions.
- To walk with God is Love. Love is the Light that guides us through the darkness of our world. “…if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin”.
You are indeed real, authentic Love. You are the Love the world keeps searching for in all the wrong places. But I found you. You are my all in all. My sins confessed gives new life just knowing your love for me. Your Light and Love, Forgiveness and Grace, builds upon my belief and acceptance of what you did for me, dear Jesus. You are my Hope. You are Life. You are Light in the dark and Love that is never ending. Yes, help me to Love like you Love me. A shared Love with You and others who believe in You is priceless.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen