SHARE THE LOVE

November 10, 2021

For a very long time now, the hashtag #LOVE has been Instagram's number one used tag. It has over 2.1 BILLION shares. That's a LOT !!!!

So, obviously, a lot of us here on this little planet are very interested in the topic of love. We post pictures of people and things we love. We tweet, share videos, and send emojis. We have holidays dedicated to love, and celebrate special anniversaries to remind us of how long we've loved someone. Love is a very big deal.

Some of us are much better at showing love than others. It is something I've often struggled to do well. God, however, is the perfect example of true love. That is certainly behind the observations of the Apostle John (He was another person who struggled to display love. You don't earn a nickname as one of the "Sons of Thunder" by being patient and overly compassionate.) Here's what John wrote. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Later on in that same chapter, John draws an even clearer line in the sand. It is our verse for today:
IF WE DON'T LOVE PEOPLE WE CAN SEE, HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD WHOM WE CANNOT SEE?

When we speak about the "love chapter" in the bible, most folks are referring to Paul's familiar verses on love that are found in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind, and so on. But it was John who learned how to love so well that his nickname got changed. He went from being known as a "Son of Thunder" (perhaps today we'd have a different "son of" name for him) and he instead became known as the "Apostle of Love" and "the disciple whom Jesus loved." So the insight John shared in his love chapter -- 1 John 4:7-21 -- is worth a close look.

These fourteen verses contain several gems. I encourage you to run a search for "Bible 1 John 4:7-21" on your computer or phone and take a moment to read how clearly and simply John presents his logic. Then he sums up his entire point in a single sentence.

IF WE DON'T LOVE PEOPLE WE CAN SEE, HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD WHOM WE CANNOT SEE?

The ESV presents the full thought as a statement instead of as a question. "If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen."

CANNOT! Not possible.

When you wonder WHY that is the case, and ponder it in your heart and mind, the last verse of the chapter concludes John's irrefutable logic. We have been given a COMMANDMENT to love from Him!! And ANYONE who does not love does not know God, because God IS love. Simple. But "simple" and "easy" are two very different words.

Yet John insists that whoever loves God MUST also love his brother. (This is a generic term for humanity from the time period. Sisters, you're not getting off THAT easy !!!)

Loving those in our circle of relationships is part of His plan that we might live through Him. Just as important, it is part of His plan that HE might continue to touch His creation through US.

Walking in His love also perfects the expressions of His love in us. How is this accomplished? When we who have seen speak out, and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world to those who don't know Him.

So, go on, share the love.

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