Daily Proverbial, from 1 John, 16 April 2013

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4, verse 8.

It’s impossible to know God and not love.  It’s impossible to talk about this Jesus and not share love because He is the truest expression of love and it’s His love that compels us to share Him.  Because of that, it’s impossible to say “I love you” and mean it and not be sharing something of God.  And, finally, it’s impossible to know God and still only love part way because God’s love isn’t something we can parse.  

One of the major beefs people have with followers of Jesus is that we’re hypocrites.  Hypocrite is an ugly word, if you think about it.   It means you’re untrustworthy, unreliable, unworthy of admiration.   A hypocrite says one thing but does another.   Politicians, athletes and celebrities are hypocrites, not you or me.

Wrong.

We’re in that same boat, my friend.   The proof of it is that neither you nor I really loves others the way Jesus loves us.  We hear about how this Jesus willingly died for His friends, and how He taught others to live a radically different life with a world-changing outlook of love instead of fear or intimidation.  We hear all that, and how He forgave us so we should forgive others likewise…and then we don’t do it.   We hold grudges, we slander the name of others (and we slander the name of God).  We envy, we curse, we hate, we inspire fear or dread, we foster lust in our eyes and at our fingertips.

We’re hypocrites.   Is it any wonder that people tell us that they see no reason to believe in Jesus when we say one thing about Him and then act so differently?  If me and you can’t live out the love of God in what we do, how can we expect others to come to know Him.   God’s ways aren’t our ways, to be sure, but He works through us.  If we don’t love the way He loves, others may not come to know Him.  To coin a word, it would be ‘impossible.’

But in God nothing is impossible.  His love can encourage us in small ways that give us the spirit, emotional strength, and determination to persevere.   His love can numb and heal the sharp stabs of hurt, and the love of Jesus can move us to forgive wrongs, forgive others, and let ourselves be forgiven.  When that happens, our hypocrisy is ended.   It is replaced with renewal and the opportunity to walk the walk while talking the talk.  When we love as Jesus loves us, we can move forward in honesty.   In the face of a world in terror, when we love as Jesus loves, nothing is impossible.

Loving Jesus, fill me with your love today.   Shine it from my eyes and from all that I think, say and do, so that whoever I meet will know I follow you:   by your love.

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