We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1John 4:6-8
Last time we spoke about God being light, which comes from the first chapter in the first epistle of John which is quite amazing since this light certainly seems to have manifested in the Transfiguration
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. Matthew 17:1-2
Jesus also spoke of being, the light of life, here:
I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
But here is a second attribute, characteristic or more accurately, the very essence of God, love! In John’s first epistle he goes on to talk a great deal about this. He wants us to realize that God is love, so to know God, we too must love.
If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1John 4:122-16
This brings us to a deeper understanding of who God is and what if anything is required of us as believers. A person may refrain from engaging in bad habits but still be missing out on a relationship with the Creator simply because of a lack of love. Love, is God, so to be in God, we too must love not only the Father but others also. The scriptures write about this too, in pretty blunt and clear terms.
If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 1John 4:20-21
Jesus clearly stated this commandment, loving one another in the synoptic gospel of John many times, not just once but many times so we would clearly understand.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12
The Christ also connects a promise to these scriptures. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. Then he gives us the commandment again. These things I command you, that ye love one another. John 15: 16-17
So, this commandment to love is also connected to the promise that, whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. Earlier on in the chapter he says something very similar to this but even more powerful as we see here.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. Then the admonishment again, If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14: 12-15
These powerful, dynamic verses show us what it is to be a Christian! Without love it is all futile. This is why Jesus came, to show us the way to the abundant life. Prior to his coming it was simply do’s and don’ts of the law. This is true still with some believers today. They may not drink or smoke but where is the love? Without the love it is just a health club, it may be good for you but it falls way short, missing the mark, which is exactly what sin is, missing the mark. So then, what is the mark? What is the goal?
The goal, the mark we are aiming for is to, be one with the Father, Christ and one another, all of us one!
That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: John 17:21
Jesus used the analogy of he is the vine and we are the branches. He said, I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them unto the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. There is that promise again. Then he goes on to say, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. Then the commandment again, If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15: 5-10
Realizing that God is love, light and spirit gives us new powerful insight into the kingdom of God. We are told to seek first the kingdom of God but when we think of this kingdom as one of light and love then we gain understanding. Look at how the perspective may change when you say seek first the kingdom of light, or seek first the kingdom of love. Since God is love then we understand why we must love. A vine branch is of the same substance as the vine. It is all alive and inter-connected.
We too are to realize our inter-connectedness, our oneness with God and one another. To do so we must love!
Until next time, may we all love one another, lift each other up and share God’s love! Light and love to all…