God Is Love7 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, love. God speaks a lot of his love, does He not?
I must confess, the concept of God's love has been a huge sticking point with me in the last several months. I have simply been unable to grasp it. MacArthur says something important here:
We're here not talking about then a love that is attached to mystical experience. That's so important. We're not talking about a love that is attached to emotional sentimentality. We're talking about a love that's connected directly to salvation and sanctification, a love that is connected directly to knowing Christ and obeying Christ. Knowing Christ grants us that love, obeying Christ allows us to enjoy the fullness of it. That's what we're talking about when we talk about perfect love.
This is important. Our humanly perception of love is so, so skewed. Not bad, but skewed. We are capable of acts of love, but the perfect love we are shown in Christ is so far beyond anything we can grasp, it at times, almost doesn't seem like ''love''. Am I the only one who struggles with this? Gosh, I hope not. He touches on that also:
He goes on to say, "Everyone who loves is born of love." We're not talking about human love. We're not talking about temporal love. We're not talking about sexual love, or human affection. We're talking here about this transcendent love known only to those who are His, about this perfect love, love to the max which the world never, never, never knows. You are to love because He is the giver of that love. And to everyone born of God is granted that love. If you are born of God and you know God, then you have this love. God is the source, isn't He? He is the giver.
Yes. So much yes! Humans are capable of love, in it's earthly sense. Parental love, spousal love, sexual love. Brotherly love. I admit, that because the love we receive in salvation sometimes doesn't "feel" like "love", then perhaps it isn't there? Perhaps God doesn't love me?
But He does. I just have to let go of the idea that God's love must fit into the box I've created for love. I have to be willing to look at God's idea of love, and far beyond my own skewed view of love.
Easier said than done.
Love is Christ. The times I'm feeling forlorn and lost, abandoned, unloved....Christ is love. He calls me His own. That is the only love I need.