Most think about love during the month of February because of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is a day of taking your spouse or significant other out for dinner, showering them with chocolates, flowers, and words… and than the day is done and we go back to our lives.
This isn’t the love God talked about in 1 John 4:9:
“”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The whole basis of the Bible is love. In that book God gave us where we started, our family history, wise words of advice, and even what’s to come. It’s a living will written for His children, including our inheritance. He gave us one main rule: love.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””
The Ten Commandments are based on love. The first half are how to love God, and the second half how to love His children; our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you step back and think as if you were a child again in your parents house, aren’t these the same basic rules? Respect your parents, and be nice to your brothers and sisters.
If a father asked their child to do something, for love, fear, and respect of the father the child would do it. If the child chose to rebel, there would likely be a consequence. This is the same way we should look at God the Father and His rules He gave us. The rebellion is called sin, and the consequence is death.
What child hasn’t by accident broken something, lost something, or just made a big mistake and had no way to cover the cost to fix it? When we all die someday we will stand in front of Our Father, creator of everything, and will need to confess every single sin down to the smallest misdemeanor. Luckily, we have an “older brother”- Jesus- who seen our mistake, took the consequence, and paid the fine. He traded His innocent, sinless life to cover our sins. Think of it this way, you and your brother are out playing ball. Your brother warns you not to aim towards the building windows in case you get a home run hit, but you do it anyways. The glass breaks and there’s no way your pennies and nickels in that little piggy bank at home will cover that mistake. What will dad think?! Your mind is going crazy, but your big brother, who just started his first job, used his first paycheck to pay for the broken window. He didn’t have to, but because he loved you, he gave everything he had- that is love.
If your brother or sister are in trouble and need your help, isn’t it your responsibility to help them if you can? There are times when you can’t, so you can tell the Father in prayer and ask His help. But remember, if you CAN help them and choose to just pray for them instead that is not the love God intended for us. Father warns us to treat others as we would want to be treated. If we can be there for them, listen, be a friend, make them a meal, visit, make a gift. Praying is important, and we should do that too, but God created us for action and doing. After all, it would have been a totally different story if big brother had ran to tell dad about the broken window because he wanted to save his money for something for himself instead of helping his brother?
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
1 John 4:20
So what does that mean for us? How do we show love to the Father and the Son? How do we grow closer to Him? Again, let’s go back to relating to a child. A young child who looks up to his father may try to dress up like him, or try to read books his dad likes, or pretend to do work like dad with toys. That is not unlike us. Dressing up is like us trying to put on the character of God and His ways. We read the Bible to try to learn what Father teaches us: to do what Jesus did- lead people to God. Just as we watch a young child stumble over the big clothes, try to read a book beyond our comprehension, and play with tools we struggle to understand He smiles with love knowing that we are trying. God does not expect perfection from His children. He knows we will stumble and struggle, but He appreciates our perseverance and admiration towards Him in our trying to be like Him.
Many people think love is surface level- words, simple actions/gifts for those closest to us. But it’s not. Love is so much deeper. An example is Jesus didnt go around saying “I love you! I love you! Love you too!” and kept to helping His own family. He showed love with actions all over- he healed people, encouraged them, corrected them, he banished demons, and taught important lessons. He encouraged children to come learn from him, made the blind see, the lame walk, fed the hungry, and raised the dead. Ultimately He loved us so much He died for us. Even after death He loved us (a lot of Christians don’t even know this) but he left us a secret message in a simple gesture that says he is coming back for us. THAT is love.
“and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.” John 20:7
When Jesus rose from the dead he folded his face cloth (napkin) before he left The tomb to let us know He IS coming back to get us!
To believe the way our Father wants isn’t just any old simple belief: it’s a childlike belief. A whole hearted, convinced, innocent, strong conviction that you KNOW your Father is watching over you, loves you, and is holding His promise to come for you again.
Many want to think if they say the words “I believe in Jesus” that they are good and saved forever. But Jesus says in the parable of the ten virgins to the five last virgins who came late “But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” (Matthew 25:12 )
Jesus wants relationship, God wants your love, the Holy Spirit wants your trust. Three in one, all are needed. If one is missing than the whole thing breaks down.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:20
no trust=no relationship or love.
no love=no relationship or trust.
No relationship= no love or trust.
Its simple. Love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as you would want yourself to be loved.
Darrick and Kay