“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.
For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
~ 1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)
I’ve learnt over the years as a Christ-follower that God’s love is redemptive in nature. He never tears down or condemns even if we’re wrong. This revelation is from my own fair share of personal failings toward others and experiencing His grace.
When we are wrong or even sometimes not, He chides and disciplines as He loves us. However, His ways are always with the intent to draw us closer to Him, never to chase us away from His presence.
Hence, the approach may seem harsh or cold from our perspective, but the intent is redemptive, not judgmental or condemning. And I guess that is where we as the Church are confused. How do we love?
It is clear that appropriating His love in our lives or situations is never easy since we are still more flesh and His love is not easily comprehended unless encountered from glory to greater glory. However, loving each other remains the key command and action we need to uphold regardless of any situation.
Apart from the above scripture, the apostle John also penned the new command from Jesus in the gospel of John in 13:34-35- Love one another so that everyone will know that you’re my disciples. From this, we can conclude that it is not theology or doctrines or righteousness that will lead people to recognize Christ and the Church. It is firstly His love.
Although the truth- theology, doctrines and righteousness are also building blocks to our faith, but they need to be built upon LOVE and expressed from LOVE. For example, righteousness without love becomes self-righteousness.
So brothers and sisters, let’s obey the call like never before in this end of days where the world is looking to the Church for answers and solutions to an evil and corrupt world.
Let’s arise and demonstrate true love that is OF the Father, not for the Father. Loving the GOD of the word over the word of God. Our world needs to know WHO we know rather than what we know. And this begins with us, the Church. Amen.