Thursday, May 27, 2010

Loving One Another

1 John 4:7-12 (ESV)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. [9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have 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 ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Love, love, love, the words clang like a cymbal, pulse the erratic beat of a noisy gong. Everyone these days talk about love, yet so few know it. They confuse love with butterflies in the tummy. Believe it or not I have had to endure lectures about loving the poor, from hypocrites who can’t love their own children enough to marry the woman that gave birth to them. Somehow I’m supposed to believe they have the love of Christ when they can’t even love the girl they are bedding. It gets a bit tiring.
Let us love one another for love is from God. This is law. It really is. We are told to love. It is possible to love, but not apart from following the Ten Commandments. Yes, that is right. The law of God shows us what it means to love. We love by doing those things that God spells out in the Ten Commandments. Adulterers do not love each other. Fornicators are not loving each other. Love does not justify their actions, because their actions are not born of love. You love your neighbor, by among other things not stealing from him, by speaking well of him, by not murdering the guy when he gets on your nerves revving a motorcycle at 2:00 Am. Of course you might also love your neighbor by not revving your motorcycle at 2:00 Am. Do you see? You love your neighbor by not coveting his motorcycle, even as you admire it. So it is also with sexual sins. It is not love that drives a person to them. Love your neighbor as yourself, has in it to love yourself enough not to engage in such sins also. By engaging in such sins you sin against your own body, (1 Corinthians 6.)
We have not loved God. In so far as we are guilty of all these things we have not loved God. It is not in us to love God. Our love for God, first, must come from God. He loved us, He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, the covering of our sins. God has loved us enough to send His own Son to die for us. Don’t think that God was spared the hurt of burying His Son for you, the hurt that so many parents are exposed to in this life burying their own children. And yet the Father endured that to save you from your sin, because His love for you is so great. Yes even while you are a sinner, God’s love is that great. His son was sacrificed as a propitiation for your sins, all of them. He has loved you, He loves you. So we ought love one another, and loving one another, we love God who has loved us, and abides in us, perfecting His love in us, so that we can love ourselves as God has loved us, and loving ourselves, love our neighbor.

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