May the Father, in the name of Jesus-Christ, sanctifies me to write unto you these few words, that I may faithfully communicate His Gospel by which your souls are being saved. We ought to ask ourselves the question of whether we love.
One of the most unfortunate reality today is that Love means different things to different people. Hence, we feel free to express it as we see fit to ourselves. There is even greater and greater emphasis on “Self-Love”. Yet it needs not be this way, for God Himself has defined it, and to that one definition we should abide
1 John 4:8…God is love
This three-words statement defines Love. Love is the permanent attribute of God. Love is the very essence of what God is. It is the defining character of God. And the prime manifestation of His character was in the sacrifice of His Own Son.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
It says, “For God SO loved the world…THAT He gave”.
This tells us therefore, that the ultimate expression of love is “sacrificial” giving. Not just giving, but sacrificial giving: Giving that comes at cost to self.
Returning now to 1 John 4:8, we see that the complete verse actually reads…
1 John 4:8 – Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
If one does not experientially know what love is, if one does not experience sacrificial giving, then one does not know God.
This is a particularly strong statement from John. Unless you personally know what sacrificial giving is, you do not know God, for sacrificial giving is the very expression of what God is, as stated in John 3:16.
Not all giving requires a sacrifice, which is why giving is by itself not equal to love. Giving tithes and offering does not necessarily mean to love, because not all tithes and offerings are at cost to self. In the United States for example, giving may actually be beneficial monetarily since it may reduce how much one owes the Government in taxes.
It is also noteworthy that despite every things God did and continues to do to sustain us – how He always gives us enough air to breathe, food to eat, things to enjoy, etc. – none of those acts were used to express who He really is: Love. It is the giving that was undoubtedly sacrificial…the giving that was at greatest cost to Him that was used to show us what God really is.
So, do you love? Do you strive to love more?
I pray the Father of Lights, our God in heaven, that He teaches every one of us, to become more like Him. To love as He does.
In Jesus’ name. AMEN