Our faith in Jesus Christ rests on one core nature of God— love.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
God demonstrated His love for the world by giving. This kind of giving was not gripping, whining, complaining, tired, or coerced. I believe it was a sacrificial giving. Meaning, He didn’t have to do it… but He gave because He loved.
And who did He love?
A creation that had rejected Him from the very beginning of man’s time in this world.
Yet He still loved.
God did not have to humble Himself so lowly to be born of man, birthed in a manger, and be numbered among the transgressors. Yet He did. For me, and for everyone else who would believe and place their faith in Him.
And this is the only commandment that Jesus left us and told us to observe.
One strong message God has impressed upon my heart this year is that, this blog profits nothing if I do not have love. A love for God (meaning, a true reverence for God and the things of God), and a love for fellow believers. And this kind of love— is similar to that which God had for the world when He gave His only begotten Son to die for my sins… in my stead.
So how do I know that I am a Child of God? Is it as a result of accepting Jesus Christ? I believe it is not that simple. For the Holy Spirit has been showing me that accepting Jesus as my Lord and Saviour is only the beginning.
I am assured that I am His child in this way,
1 John 3
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
Thus, if we say we are children of God, then we must always examine our hearts and our motivation to love others…whether it is of God, and from God…or whether it originates from self. Always asking God to illuminate those areas which do not walk in truth, so that He may lead us to the right path…the path of righteousness.
And we know that it is God’s love because His love asks us to lay down own lives for those we say we love.
So, love (agape) is the only way we know what we know —and that is— that we have eternal life. And this love is the kind that lays down its life for loved ones.
1 Corinthians 13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love boasts not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own way, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;
6 Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
What a task. What a challenge. And I confess that I am a work in progress…
But even so, I thank God that He Himself, gives us the capacity and grace to love people in this way. Not by self effort, will power, or forcing… But by grace.
May God bless you and keep you in His true and sure love as He works in you both to will, and to do of His good pleasure.
Love in Christ,
And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.