Advent Love

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7, NASB95)

Love is one of the most common words used in the English language. The word “love” is often used in relationships and yet is probably the most misunderstood and misused. We use the word love to describe our feelings about food, objects, people, and even God. Interestingly, many people use the word “love” without really understanding the source and meaning behind the word love.

God is the source of true love, as we read in the Apostle John’s letter, “Love is from God.” Love is not a feeling but a decision to act in a self-giving way for the benefit of another person. The one who truly loves deliberately devotes themselves to an intended recipient of love and benevolence. Love is giving yourself to benefit the other, even to the point of laying down your life. God is love in His innermost being. Love is at the very nature of God, who eternally existed before there were any objects for His love.

We read in John’s letter, “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.” (1 John 4:10, NASB95) Christmas celebrates God’s gift of love, His Son Jesus. Born into this world to die a cross death so that we might receive the gift of life through His sacrifice. Because love is an intrinsic character trait of God, God will always be loving, even when He judges sinners.

Love is made evident by every person who truly knows God because they are “born of God.” Love is the evidence of a transformed life. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NASB95) The regenerated heart will spontaneously love as God loves because of their new birth as a child of God.

The greatest symbol of love is not a heart or cupid. The greatest symbols of love are a manger and a cross. Therefore, as one who has experienced the love of God, love one another as a child of God.

In His Love,
Pastor Cary

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