1st John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
In our world today, the words "I love you " are often used very trivially without due consideration of their true meaning. In movies and soap operas, in novels and in cartoons, love is often downgraded to a mere sentiment, emotion, or feeling in so much that the principle of true love is scarcely discerned or practiced anymore. Love is the grand foundational principle upon which God's government is built, and according to our passage today, He is the literal embodiment of all that true love entails.
The most prominent example of the principle of love in action, is the sacrifice that was made for us on Calvary. What makes Christ's sacrifice for us so unique is that His love towards us was displayed while we were not His friends, but His enemies. This element of true love is brought to light in the next verses of scripture. Let's read:
Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
We live in a world where self is front and center of almost everything we do, think and say. We are indoctrinated daily in so many ways to look out for ourselves first and then others. But the principle of true love teaches us to love God first and then our neighbors and friends as ourselves. If this principle were followed, we would not see or hear the acidic vitriol that so often permeates the political arena. If the doctrine of love were practiced consistently, we would see a marked difference in the relationships between husbands and wives, children and parents, teachers and students, communities and nations.
That's why we are admonished and counseled in the Bible to adopt and practice the Eternal principle of love as manifested in the life of Christ, who daily went about doing good, and then finally laid down His life for us that we might have life more abundantly. We must realize however, that to love as Christ loves, we would need an on-going change of heart, which can only be accomplished through the power and grace of God. That's why we will end this segment with a passage of scripture that encourages us to love in thought, word and deed, by submitting ourselves to God and following the example of Jesus. Let's read:
Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
May this experience be ours today and forevermore. God bless!