John, Paul, George, and Ringo may have been on to something with these song lyrics. But just as in so many other areas of this world, the principles of and the concept of love, they become corrupt and nothing more than a principal or a concept. In just the last 14 verses of this 4th chapter of 1st John, a John that DID know something about Love, he uses the word love in some form nearly 30 times. One of the best definitions of biblical love I have heard is this:
The willfully and sacrificial giving of oneself and one's resources for
the benefit of another without any expectation of anything in return.
So many of us, by this definition, love to be loved! But very few are willing and able to by this definition able to give love. And I dare say outside of Christ are incapable of loving in this capacity. In the opening statement of our passage of scripture today, 4:7-8, John say;
7 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.
This love, to willfully and sacrificial giving of oneself and one's resources for the benefit of another without any expectation of anything in return, is not just something God does! It is the absolute core of who HE is! God IS LOVE. Probably the most common questions we as followers of Christ will hear from the world is this,
“if God is Love how could he send good people to Hell?”
This is a legitimate question. By all human logic this does not add up. Hell is not a place I want anyone to go, and neither does God. All those that will spend an eternity in Hell will do so by choosing to do so. You see in that God is Love He will never force you into something you do not want and if I can use the phrase here, when it comes to God, no means no. Heaven is going to be an eternity of praising Jesus, worshiping Jesus, and honoring Jesus. And if this is not how you want to spend eternity, if the thought of this doesn't bring you pure joy, then HIS heaven, the heaven described in the Bible, it would be Hell for you. When Jesus says come and follow me and you say no, then no means no, and you will not be forced into anything you do not want.
Now comes the great part!!! Now comes true LOVE!! … Verses 9 and 10
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.
DO YOU SEE IT??? Outside of Jesus there is no other way to see heaven. There is nothing I can do, no prayer I can say.
Nothing + Jesus = everything
Anything - Jesus = nothing
And JESUS, willfully and sacrificial, gave not only of Himself but GAVE HIMSELF as the required payment for my sin. He gave it for the benefit of ALL of us, so we could LIVE. Jesus gave without any expectation of anything in return. Jesus gave His life, knowing that some would say “no, I don't want what you’re offering, but He gave anyway. He loved, knowing the love would not be returned by many. But HE GAVE LOVE and still today offers LOVE to you and to me.
Don't make love just some words in a song followed by some “doot doo doo doo doo’s”
Know the Love of Christ! Please Know this love and then make this love known!
- Mike Andersen
Mike is a graduate of Next Step Recovery Ministries. Mike currently serves as a teacher at Next Step and helps with various other activities such as community connections, BLOG posts, and various other activities. You can reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org