Monday, April 20, 2009

1 John 4 -- God's Love and Ours

Chapter 4 has a brief discussion about testing the spirits, acknowledging that not every spirit at work in our world is of God. Quickly the discussion turns to the topic of love. There is quite a contrast between our love and the love God has.

God's love is perfect and true, our love is often flawed and ill motivated. Which brings the question, do we love God simply out of love, or is it because of what God does for us? Further, if we do not sense God is doing anything in our lives, then does the lover we feel for God diminish? The sad truth in my life is all too often the love I feel for God is dependent upon if God is doing what I expect God to do. There is no sugarcoating this, that is simply the wrong relationship. The love we have for God should be based only on the fact the God is God.

But how do we know what love is? We know because God showed us what love is by creating us, redeeming us and sustaining us. But wait isn't that love based on what God is doing? Yes and no. Yes in that these are actions that God alone can complete. No in that they are not performance based. The acts of creation, redemption and sustaining are not necessarily the love of God, they are the signs of, or results of God's love for us. The usual for us is we expect if God loves us, God will cause life to work out on our terms. This is extremely flawed.

We must love God for being God, nothing more and nothing less. While God shows that love through creation, redemption and sustaining us, we show the love we have for God by the ways we are in relationship with the others, everyone, who God created. Anything less and we are not in love with God.

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