Pastor's commentary: God's love

February 10, 2012 

1 John 4:11-12

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. NIV

Love is in the air, as Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Couples scramble to make plans to show their love for their significant other. Ladies wait patiently to see if their man is going to remember this year and, after a subtle hint or two, us guys will rush out to find a suitable gift so that we don't end up in the doghouse. Valentine's Day helps us to remember to say and show our love for our spouse. However, a love that lasts a lifetime must be spoken of and shown every day.

In the verse above, John exhorts us to follow the example of our God who loved us first and displayed that love when he gave his son to die for us. This great display of love laid the groundwork for his declaration in Scripture that he loves us and even becomes the very definition of love. You see God's love, agape, is an unconditional, unending love that cannot love any more than it does already and will not love any less. Therefore, there is nothing that we can do to make God stop loving us. This is important to know because in the same verse that tells us that God loved us, John also tells us to love one another. Both the Greek words for love are the same here, agape.

We are all happy that God loves us unconditionally and that whatever we do to God will never stop him from loving us. But when it comes time for us to love others the same way, we all fall short of that love. What would the world be like if everyone endeavored to love one another like God loves us. Most of our problems would go away. We would speak to others differently, we would treat others differently, we would be treated and spoken to differently. What a wonderful world it would be.

The only way for us to display God's love to one another is to first know God's love in our lives first. The sure sign that God lives in us is that we love one another. God's love is not made complete in us until we learn to love one another with agape. So, remember that love should be in the air every day of the year. Let us endeavor to show God's love to one another so that His love may be complete in us.

Rev. Stephen Hammond is the Senior Pastor of Bethel Community Church

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