Thursday, November 22, 2012
1st John Chapter 4 Part 13
4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
We learn this profound truth: our love for God stems from His loving character and what He has done to demonstrate that love toward us. It is ironic and providential that the love God has for us originates within Himself, since He is love as we have been reading. Our love for Him likewise originates from the revelation of God’s person and accomplishment; it is founded in Him.
The prophet writes, “The Lord appeared of old to me, saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you,” Jeremiah 31:3. We find this refrain given to Israel numerous times. We read: “because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power,” Deuteronomy 4:37. Also: “Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans,” Hosea 3:1. Finally, we read in the last of the OT prophets, “‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord,” Malachi 1:2.
It is a love for God as men have found Him in Jesus Christ that have moved them to write their lofty hymns, pen a legion of expositions and commentaries, struggle for human rights such as the abolition of slavery in our own country, build schools, hospitals and the humanitarian establishments of yesteryear. It inspires and moves people today to preach the love of Christ in the furthest reaches of this planet, or to our atheist or Catholic neighbor next door. As Paul wrote, “For the love of Christ compels us,” 2nd Corinthians 5:14.
It is a simple answer; what is the power that energizes the Christian life? God, living in us through faith and continuing His mission of universal redemption through His children by manifesting His love in them by good works, Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14. This love, which originates from God, draws men to Him through us, His chosen vessels. The power and the glory are not ours; we simply carry this treasure in earthen vessels, 2nd Corinthians 4:7. Our good works are meant to glorify God. They are a road sign that should point people to our personal Savior. The light in us is imputed light, like the moon reflects the sun’s glory on a darkened world. The night would be much darker if the moon’s glow did not shine down, yet the moon has no light of its own; it merely “borrows” the sun’s light and sheds it. This is our place as saints, to freely give what we have freely received because God first loved us.