Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



1 John 4:7 - 21

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 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. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

I'm not even going to think about unpacking this passage. Quite frankly, I'm silenced by it. Why? Humanly speaking, love is something that, as it is specified here, can only be truly found in those who are born of God and who know God. Think on that; the implication is profound. What John is stating here is that the only way one can truly love is to love in Christ, as the Father intended when He sent Christ to be the propitiation for our sins and set us free to live through Christ. John speaks of God being love, and how we know that God abides in us: the manifestation of love within us as the Spirit, whom the Father has sent, abides within us. We abide in God, and God in us as we abide in love. Wow. John points out several times that God loved us first, and of His own volition. The fact that He did so freely is key to the very essence of love as we know it in Christ.

But I won't get into that now. My brain is too overwhelmed, crammed full of thoughts like Blind Brandon's closet is crammed full of all the stuff that usually resides on his floor when he cleans his room in ten minutes for Open Dorms :) I'll have to unpack everything from my brain in order to sort through my thoughts, and quite frankly, I'm not ready for that just yet. Therefore, I'll avoid the deeper waters of that passage and be content to wade through the shallows.

About two and a half weeks ago, Andrew and I were on our way home from Sanoya's. That was the night we had been on our way back to Sushi King for their Midnight Special after a night at Hale Noa, only to find that Tuesday was the one night of the week that they closed at 10 pm. Doh! Anyway, he'd been encouraging me to use my "way with words" and look to encourage people more. In essence, to love people as defined by Scripture. *Sigh*...for some reason, as I talked with Brian tonight, my thoughts went back to that conversation with Andrew. I'd been thinking about that passage in 1 John 4, and my conversation with Brian triggered memories of that conversation with Andrew. I know, I know, it sounds strange, but what about me isn't strange? Anyway, the thing that clicked in my head (and heart) was the notion that I must love people. If I am to truly love people, I must point them to the love of Christ, and do so through the love of Christ that abides within me. Not to do so constitutes hatred, or a hypocritical love that Paul warns against in Romans 12. Dare I live my life as one who does not abide in God? Certainly not!

Yet, I often do.

That's what Andrew was speaking of. Put negatively, he warned me not to love hypocritically; positively, he encouraged me to love by speaking words of life. And oh, how I've failed! I look into my heart, and I see reflected there but a tiny portion of the dark sin of self-centered pride that I've recently clothed myself in. How shameful, how destructive to the Kingdom of Christ! In my heart, I know that I make light of my sins, and that I gloss over them far, far too quickly. Oh Lord, forgive me...melt the hardness of my heart!

*Sigh*...still, I can take heart in the very essence of love. God has first loved me freely, needing no love of my own to be given to assuage Him first. In that, I do take heart, for it was His love in Christ that first placed within me a spring of love to flow forth in true love for others. Indeed, the more I see of my need for forgiveness, the more I see of God's love.

posted by Bolo | 11:49 PM
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