Loved to be Love

 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are

– 1 John 3:1

I’ve been studying 1 John this summer on my own. This verse just stuck out to me and God really spoke to me through it. I spent some time meditating on it and from that,  here are just a few things the Spirit opened my eyes to:

{SEE}  John is pointing his readers to the Father’s love by calling for them to see it. Do you see this? If you are a christian you have at least at one point, but when was the last time you just stopped and focused on it? Gazed at it? Marveled and wondered at it? Worshipped it? We can’t look at and see God’s love enough. This is what fuels the christian life. If you are going off of last weeks or last months or even last year’s sight, you are on E and running on fumes. Look at it again right now. Let your heart and affections be overtaken.

And don’t take it for granted you see God’s love and worship him for it. 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 tells us that Satan keeps people from seeing the, “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” If you see God’s love with anything other than indifference or disgust, praise God. It isn’t an automatic and don’t take it for granted.

{LOVE}  As I said above, John is pointing his readers to see what kind of love the Father has given. As if this isn’t just any kind of love but something special. Something different. Something foreign. Sure enough… later in John’s letter we see that God IS love (4:16) and God loves us despite us by sending his son to pay for and absorb the penalty for our sin (4:10). This is a very different love. God’s love is unconditional. It is not strings attached. You don’t find this anywhere else.

{GIVEN}  This word really stuck out to me. This foreign, unconditional love is given freely. That is just so incredible. Which is why we have to regularly see it. It is easy for me to fall into a false sense of self-sufficiency. To be lured by my pride into a fools gold view of my own goodness that sees a need for God in salvation but forgets about him for sanctification. But make no mistake, God’s love is only given. He sent his son to serve us and to save us. Nothing else.

And nothing else can be more offensive, arguably, for Americans. We are stubborn with optimistic views of our own strength which ironically blind us to our need for Jesus. Trust me, I know all about it. But take heart because the only thing God requires is neediness. Nothing else. Spiritual bankruptcy is a beautiful thing because once we see it, the stage is set for God to be great. He alone is worshipped because nothing but his blood is sufficient.

{CHILDREN}  And what does is blood accomplish? What happens when Jesus saves us? Answer: The salvation of sinners for his glory that are adopted into his family. We were his enemies. Now we are his children. The God of the universe is our father and the humble/obedient/glorious Jesus is our brother. And that is good news. Which again, is why we need to see it over and over and over and over. I can’t be reminded enough. I can’t see it too many times. Not only to know God better or to worship him more often, but…..

{TO BE LOVE}  I was floored by 1 John 4:11, 21. God’s love is to be see, tasted, experienced, meditated on and then shared. God doesn’t love us to just make us happy, but to transform us. If my theology has no place for grace and obedience/holiness… something is wrong. When God’s amazing love grips our lives, it completely changes us and sends us out to love others, particularly other believers but non-christians as well. There is no other option. So much so that if this love is not being displayed by us (which only comes from God) John says we were never believers in the first place.

You don’t see his love without giving it to others. I’m not talking about romantic, self-absorbed what can you do for me love. I’m talking about self-sacrificing, dying to self for the benefit of others love. The love that lays down it’s life for others. The love that defines God and should define us. But the only way to give this love to others is to see and experience it firsthand. Which takes us back to the beginning. To keep seeing the love of the Father for us in the gospel of Jesus SO THAT we have the strength we need by his grace to go and love people in the same way. We are loved by God to be love to others.

These are just a few thoughts. I’d be curious what you all think about this verse or this book. The Word of God truly is living and active!

 

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