We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
I shared a simple summation of the Word of God with my Middle School class a couple of Sundays ago: The story of a Father fighting to get His children back. God has had us in His heart from eternity past, and not even our fall in sin changed His heart of love toward us. This chapter in First John recounts God’s venture to redeem us. He sent His Son, loving us so much He was willing to die to free us from the curse of sin. When we were not looking for Him, He came looking for us.
Because of the love of God bestowed upon us, we now have through the power of His Spirit within us the supernatural capacity to love others purely and truly. The world apart from Christ can only flounder with “love” in poor imitation, or defiantly rebel in gross distortions of “love.” It seems to prefer the later.
And I would note that not only is biblical love in our capacity, but it is also commanded. There lies the litmus test of Christ-in-us. Simply put, we cannot speak of loving God if we are actively hating any of His children. Ask any parent how that basic truth exists in their world—if you’re against my child, you’re against me, plain and simple.
It is humbling to experience God’s love, and humbling to be perfected by loving others. After all, we all are imperfect and unlovely in many ways. Remember what the songwriter said: “Saved a wretch like me.”
Then remember what John said: “We love, because He first loved us.”