By: Carole L. Haines
We will be concluding our series on “From fear to Love,” this week. There are just a few more points to touch on found in 1 John 4.
Today we will begin looking at both our ability and motivation to love. These can be found in the following Scripture.
“9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
(1 John 4:9-13)
As we look at this passage, we can see that there is a sequence in how the Love of God works in and through us. Understanding this can help us to yield ourselves to both the process of transformation and the Holy Spirit’s leading in this journey. Let’s begin to break it down.
- The Love of God was manifested IN us through our belief in Him as Savior. This began with God sending Jesus into our world. Let’s call this The Emmanuel (God with us) moment. This is also referred to in other Scriptures such as “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
- All love originates from God and in His perfect love comes full circle through us, to others and back to God. I would be so bold as to say I believe true, perfect love is impossible apart from God. Look above at verse 10. Love is not that WE LOVE GOD, but that HE LOVED US. Our love is always a response to God’s love. The deeper we delve into how rich God’s love is, the more we respond in grateful love ourselves. The catalyst, or spark is always God’s love. This can be seen in this Scripture as well:
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
We will break it all down even more over the next few days. For now, I will leave you with this wonderful quote to meditate on.
“The chief motivation behind Paul’s service was not love for others but love for his Lord. If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.”
(O. Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Feb. 23)
Be Blessed, Dear Believer