Love: God is love. Love one another. 1 John 4:16
Love one another. Is there any instruction given more in our Bibles than this one? Jesus Himself spoke the words many times during His ministry, and the rest of the New Testament quotes it again and again - love one another. Please note that this is not an option, a take-it-or-leave-it situation. It is not a suggestion or simply some good advice. No. Jesus clearly states, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another." We can't miss it. We can't ignore it. Jesus commands us to love one another. But, in reality, should He really have to command us to love others? The overflow of our hearts, as a result of His love towards us, should be to love others. We didn't deserve His love. We didn't earn it. He didn't owe it to us. No. He sent His Son out of love. How then, can we not love others? But Jesus also tells us another reason to love one another. "By your love, all men shall know that you are my disciples." Show love to others, Jesus said, and everyone will know that you are mine. How will they know? By our love. They won't know it because of certain habits and customs we do. They won't know it by the church we go to and how many times a week we attend. They won't know it by the way we dress or the things we say. Read it again. "By your love, all men shall know that you are my disciples." In other words, you want people to know about your God? Love them. But something struck me the other day while reading 1 John 10-12. 8 words jumped out at me. No man hath seen God at any time. It was not the statement itself that stopped me but, instead, its location in Scripture. Why, in the middle of writing about the love of God and our need to love others, did John write, "No man hath seen God at any time"? It almost seems out of place, just plunked in the middle of his thoughts. But, since Scripture is to be read and understood in context, loving one another and the fact that no one has seen God must go together. Could it not be similar to the words of Jesus that we've already considered? If no one has ever seen God, how are they going to know Him? By our love. Show them love and show them God. Only a few verses later John penned, "God is love". It has been said, "You may be the only Jesus people ever see". Since no one has ever seen God, we, the ones saved by His grace and boundless love, are to love others. It is in this way that we show God to them. As you read the following lyrics to the song below, may the desire of your heart and mine be to love others as He has loved us and in so doing reveal God to all those around us.
You're The Only Jesus -sung by The Imperials If not in you, I wonder where will they ever see the One who really cares? If not from you, how will they find There's One who heals the broken heart, and gives sight to the blind? Chorus: You're the only Jesus that some will ever see And you're the only words of life, some will ever read So let them see in you the One in whom is all they'll ever need 'Cause you're the only Jesus, some will ever see Verse: And if not you, I wonder who, will show them love, and love alone can make things new? If not from you, how will they learn There's one who'll trade their hopelessness and give joy in return? Chorus: You're the only Jesus that some will ever see And you're the only words of life, some will ever read So let them see in you the One in whom is all they'll ever need 'Cause you're the only Jesus, some will ever see
Written by Zonya Bergsma ReachHearts Ministries