Whoever Loves

(1 John 4:7-12 ESV) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have 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 ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Valentine’s Day. Candy. Cards. Flowers. Kisses. Love. Who doesn’t like Valentine’s Day? Something captured my attention as I was reading this passage of Scripture. “Whoever loves has been born of God and knows God…” What?

There would be some vigorous disagreement from non-Christians (Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists, etc.) about whether or not the love they experience comes from God. Isn’t it true that they love their wives and kids? Don’t they experience compassion for the needy? Absolutely, yes. Everyone has been created in the image of God. EVERYONE? EVERYONE. Whoever loves has been born of God…”

John must have had something more in mind when he made this bold statement. I believe the deeper meaning refers to the depth and quality of love that can only be experienced through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Scripture identifies at least 3 different types of love. Eros (physical), phileo (brotherly), and agape (spiritual). Even non-Christian individuals experience and express eros and phileo love. However, agape love can only be experienced inside of a relationship with God through His son–Jesus Christ.

If God is the source of all love, then whatever love a man has in him comes from God; and this part of his moral nature is of Divine origin. Of ‘every one that loves’ is this true, whether he be heathen or Christian: there is no limitation. If a Socrates or a Marcus Aurelius loves his fellow-men, it is by the grace of God that he does so.
-Cambridge Commentary

God wants us to experience and express the spiritual love (agape) that comes from living through Him. “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”

God loved us when we were undeserving of it. He loved us before we loved Him; when we were most unwilling to accept it. His love was in us even when we did not acknowledge it.

Keith Green spoke so eloquently through the lyrics of his song, Your Love Broke Through.

Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed.
Until your love broke through.
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me.
Until your love broke through.
-Keith Green

PRAYER: Father, thank you for allowing Your love to break through so that we can live life experiencing and expressing it to those around us. Amen.

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