1 John 4:7-16 is a favorite scripture because it gets to the heart of love. It is easy to say God is love, but do I hear the sobering words of verse eight. If I don’t love, I don’t know God. Plain and simply stated, that verse calls for a life of love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” NASB
Christ gives access to love. If I decide to abide in love, God will abide in me and I in Him. That’s the miracle of Christmas. I’m afraid love is often lost in the lust that surrounds the season meant to celebrate true love.
There are close to five hundred references to love in the Bible, and that didn’t surprise me at all. God is love, and His Word is a beautiful love letter that I read over and over again. Each time I read it, it thrills and fills like a warm spring rain in a cold, barren desert.
The world wrings me out and sometimes hangs me out to dry, but God is faithful to fill and refill. In fact, I am learning that love is about being filled and emptied and refilled. It isn’t riding a crazy roller coaster or a sitting on the mountaintop alone with God. It is about getting into the world, seeking the truth, and connecting to God in others. God is love and exists in all who love Him.
I have friends with whom I have the sweet connection of Christ’s love. It is the most precious thing in this world, and I thank God for allowing me to share my journey with those who share a love for Him. Henri Nouwen says that God will connect to God. Christ’s love connects me to Him and those in my path.
Sharing God’s Word and love is what I am here to do. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I hope to do just that. Christ came to give access to God’s love, and that is the miracle of Christmas. I pray that 2013 is a year filled to the brim with God’s love. May we share our journeys with one another in a way that allows the honesty to love through laughter and tears. Tears and laughter are only for a short season, but love is forever.