Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jesus' Love is Not Only For You (1 John 4:11-12)

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us
(1 John 4:11-12, NLT).

The love of God and our love for each other are tied together. Maybe a simple diagram would help make this clearer (see picture). God’s love is like energy of electricity that flows through wires. God loves us, and we love God; and this energy of knowing (head) and feeling (heart) that we are loved gives us the power and desire (hand) to love others. This energy can’t be kept just to ourselves. “Since God loved us” by “sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him” (1 John 4:9) and “as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (4:10), our response should be – “love each other.”

It’s kind of like the water that is kept behind a large dam. If the water is kept just there, it may eventually overflow and do a lot of damage. But if the water is used correctly – to run generators and make electricity, then there is a great power in that water. And there is also room for more water to flow into the lake behind the dam. In the same way, God’s love “overflow” in our lives, thus to keep a healthy relationship with God, we need to let God’s love “flow out” from us and “flow into” people’s lives. In this way, God’s love in our lives renewed every time we share that love to others. Do this and you will be more joyful and blessed.

If we think that God’s is only for us, we can easily become selfish or conceited about it, believing that we’re so special that nobody else deserves this love. Our faith also will become static and never grow into maturity. But as we let the power of God’s love flow through us to others, we then feel even more of God’s love ourselves. And we also can see how God’s love affects the way we treat other people. As God’s love is shared with others, it seems to become more complete and perfect.

No one has ever seen God” thus only by love that God is known [Because of our human limitations, God became “human and made his home among us” (John 1:14) so that we may know Him intimately in the person of Jesus. But the essence of God is unknowable. Soon “we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2)]. We cannot see God, just as we cannot see the wind. But we can see the effects of God in our lives and in the lives of other people. Remember: We’re not just spectators, watching God at work in the ‘World Cup’ of life. God wants us right there on the field. We are part of a great team – the team that can’t be beat, a team of believers that has existed since the time of Jesus.

With God’s help, we can become the people God wants us to be. And we can be a part of God’s great plan to show love and share the Good News about Jesus with people all over the world… start with our neighbours and those who are closes to us today. Jesus’ love is not only for you – but for others too. Amen.

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