Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. Here is how God showed his love among us: God sent his only Son into the world, so that through him we might have life. Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah for our sins.
Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for him has been brought to its goal in us. Here is how we know that we remain united with him and he with us: he has given to us from his own Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as Deliverer of the world. If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God. Also we have come to know and trust the love that God has for us. God is love; and those who remain in this love remain united with God, and God remains united with them.
Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment. There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.
We ourselves love now because he loved us first. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.1 John 4:7-21 (CJB)
Merry Christmas! The waiting of Advent is over. Christmas is here! Emmanuel has come! Praise His Name!
I saw a t-shirt design that I thought was clever a few weeks ago. It said, “Love is a verb.” I’ve heard that love is a choice. And grammatically speaking, love can be a noun in that it is an idea. But I liked the idea that love is action—it is a “doing” word. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized all of these things were both right and wrong. Love is a choice. Love is an idea. And love is a verb. But more importantly, love is a person.
Christmas is the celebration of Love coming down. How do we know love? Because we have seen it in Jesus? How can we experience and share love? Only in God. All the love in this world is borrowed from God. Only in God do we know love. God became flesh and He dwelt among His people. He became one of us. He walked with us. And then He died for us. Only by having God with Us, only in seeing the Divine in a manger did we find love—or more correctly, did Love find us.
As you celebrate His coming, know it was for Love. “He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less” (C.S. Lewis). We love one another today because He loved us. Love is a person. And He made Himself lowly to rescue you. Because He loves you.
Today’s Song: A King Like This by Chris Tomlin