[CF Devotionals] 2015-04-24 - Love and God

The Love Series, Part 4

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This is the fourth and final installment in the Love series. In the first devotional, we looked at who and how to love. Second, we considered some thoughts on love and dating. And then we discussed love and purity. This week, as we wrap up, we will come almost full circle - to see how God and love are related - by looking at a letter written by the disciple whom Jesus loved.

1 John 4:7-21 (NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

I just want us to consider three simple points in this passage today.

First, look at verses nine and ten, to see the Love of God. I’m willing to bet that you can probably recite John 3:16? This verse is a favorite for many Christians, because it deals with the love of God. God’s love is so great! Yes, he gave his only son, but think about this next statement. God is all-knowing. There are no surprises, so when he made man, he knew he was really condemning his son by making them, and he did it anyway. His love is immense – greater than any other love we can experience.

Frederick M. Lehman penned a song in 1917, called "The Love of God". He says that verse three was found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an asylum, after the patient died.

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”

 Refrain

“Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure–
The saints’ and angels’ song.”

God’s love is amazing. God is amazing.

In fact, Love is God. God is love, as we see in verse eight. Without God, there really can be no love. Yes the world has cheap imitations, but no agape love. Unconditional agape love – we often say we have it, but I think our love would have limits, although they may be far.

That should drive us to have Love for God. Look at verse nineteen; love for God is first realized. Once we understand his great love for us, we love him in return. Once we realize and understand the riches he has poured upon us, we love him in response. After it is realized, it becomes activated. Love for God does not make us sit still and listen to songs and sermons about him. It compels us to love others. Read the whole passage again and stop to ponder every time you get to something about our love for him being active; this passage is riddled with activity. Love on another, love your brothers, love removes fear, love shown by standing boldly for God.

Love God, yourself, and others - and so we do come full circle.

Live in God’s love!

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted


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