Last night on my way to church for Men’s Ministry, I turned on K-LOVE and the DJ was talking about tomorrow being Valentine’s Day and that it can be a tough day for the lonely. That first struck me as odd because even when I was single or had just come off of a broken relationship, I could not remember ever facing Valentine’s Day in such a way. But the DJ had experienced that loneliness and gave an encouraging word that no one has to be alone if they are in Christ. And that surely rang true in my heart.
I have faced lonely times but having given my life to Christ I have known His love in those sad times. Being a child of God means never being alone. As a Christian, no matter where I am at, I can find a brother or sister in Christ and be with family. The Apostle John recorded such sweet words to remind us of this:
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)
I love how John begins the passage, may I yell it out? BEHOLD! Look, look at what God has done for us. He love us so much that He not only sent His only begotten Son to die for us, but also and more importantly when we say yes to Christ we become like Jesus. How? We receive the Father’s love, the same love He has for His precious Son Jesus.
WHAT MANNER OF LOVE INDEED!
John later writes in his first letter a reminder of what I’ve already written:
“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.” (1 John 4:9)
Now that would make a great refrigerator magnet! But like I told my Sunday School class this past weekend, sometimes I just like to put those “power verses” back into the Bible to look at them in their original context, don’t you know?
I’ve been asked how do I know God, or how do I know that I know God. Let’s put our “power verse” back into its passage:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 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. 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.” (1 John 4:7-11)
We are commanded to love one another for a number of reasons.
First, because God is love and if you are truly born again you will love God and His family, and you will know God.
If we don’t love one another, as we have been commanded, then we clearly do not know God. This dispels the heresy that all people on earth are God’s children. Beloved, that is simply a lie from the pit of hell. Satan has no problem with lost souls believing they are part of the family of God. That would be like me saying, and believing, that I am a direct descendent of Abraham Lincoln. It may be nice to believe and tell others, but it is simply a lie.
Second, we are commanded to love one another because God first loved us. And He proved His love towards us by sending His only begotten son so that we would not perish in our sins, but have eternal life with Him. Why? To bring glory to the Father.
Third and last we our commanded to love one another so the world will know that we belong to the Family of God:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Jesus knew that churches would bicker and fight and split up and be a terrible witness for Him. He had already seen His own disciples argue about who would be greatest. He set the standard of love for His church so that our love for one another would be not only a witness to a dying world, but also as a magnet to a lost world looking for love and not finding it.
The Holy Spirit in His wisdom knew that men would teach lies about the Father, one being that we are all God’s children. King Solomon makes it plain upon whom God bestows His love:
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness.” (Proverbs 15:8-9)
While God indeed loves all people and desires none to perish, He only bestows His love upon those who have trusted Christ and received the adoption of Heaven and become heirs with Christ.
Is that you?
Today, many flowers, cards, and candies will be exchanged. Some will give jewelry to a loved one. These are wonderful traditions and I encourage it.
However, I exhort you to give your heart to Jesus. And if you have already done so, surrender all of it to Him. And be sure to love your brethren, your fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
A hurt, lost, and dying world so needs to see this love. May the world see WE the Church and proclaim, “What manner of love is this?!”
Happy Valentines Day!
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers