Much is made in scripture about the notion of love. God, of course, is positioned as the expert, and the rest of us as His subjects. God loves us. We love God. In the back and forth between us and the Divine, we seem to think we figure out love and answer the age old question posed by Foreigner.
Except, we don’t really figure it out…not when it’s just Him and us. We experience receiving love, and we make our feeble attempts at loving Him back – something akin to a 3 year old folding the laundry for you. The sentiment is appreciated, but it’s not as if massive headway is made for the kingdom. Perhaps in our hearts, but not for the Kingdom.
The 4th chapter of 1 John speaks at length about the idea of love – both receiving and expressing it. I couldn’t help but notice today that as it speaks of God loving us, it in turn speaks of us loving others. It’s almost as if genuine love is drawn by some gravitational force – out and down.
The love of God is the wonder that it is not only because of His greatness but because of how undeserving we are to receive it. It’s remarkable that His love is what it is – it’s even more remarkable that it bridges the gap between the Source and the intended recipient.
The fact that we and God are in the same equation and X ends up being a positive number is a testimony to the power of love to reach down and pull up.
Verse 20 of that chapter lays it out. “If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his brother, he is a liar.” That’s pretty strong…but it appears your love for God can be negated by your failure to love others.
Why? Because it is not enough to mimic the affections of God back to Him. He asks that we pour it out on others as a measure of how sincere we are towards him.
True love always flows out and down. From a cross. From a Christian. That’s just the way it works.
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