Many debate as to what the most significant book of the Bible is. Some say Romans, and I must concur. But I believe one of the most powerful messages found within this Holy Bible is the letter of 1 John. Such a powerful presentation of profound Biblical principles, it provides the believer with a sense of assurance about their union with God and a strengthened knowledge of their salvation.
But for our purposes, I would like to emphasize the passage of scripture found in 1 John 4:7-9 -
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him”
Love. What is it? When we say “I love you”, what are we really saying? Love is not a feeling, it is not an ideology, and it is not an action. Love is purely a decision. It was a decision made by God to send His son into the world to provide hope and salvation. It was a decision for Christ to humble Himself in obedience to the Father’s Will. It is a decision for us to accept that presented gift. It is a decision to love your spouse. It is a decision to love your parents. It is a decision to love your siblings.
How do we know that love is a decision? “For God so LOVED the world THAT HE SENT His Son…”. God Loved, therefore He decides.
Now why is it a decision? Because it is quite difficult to love when there is no infatuating feeling. If love was solely a feeling, we would only love partially. We decide to love one another when it becomes difficult to love. Most individuals in modern society fail to understand that love is a lifelong decision; a process by which both work together to create a relationship. This is especially true of church members. To have bitterness toward one another is an insult to the very Word of God by which we uphold. If we drive all of our energy into arguing over the minor things, how quickly a catastrophe would overwhelm us when attempting to present the Gospel to those who need to hear it most.
John proclaims some powerful words through these two passages of scripture. But he hones in on one specific characteristic of our Lord. It’s the fact that “God is Love”. Friend, if you want to live a fulfilling Christian life, it is imperative that you love one another. The Great Commission cannot be fulfilled without The Great Commandment, and that commandment from Christ Himself is to love one another.
Love is a decision, and my prayer is that many of our world’s Christians would come to the realization that we must love one another to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ. It’s nothing to do with social ideologies and everything to do with the proclamation of a risen Lord through the love and compassion that we have for a lost world.