Seeing Love – 1 John 4:7-10

“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, that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

1 John 4:7-10

God is love.

Oh, that the world would see this.

Because love is what we’re all searching for, is it not? Love and acceptance and belonging. It’s listed as one of the basic needs of every human being. And it is a defining characteristic of our God. Not even that He has love or shows love; He is love. As Beth Moore has said, “It is His is-ness.”

When we see God – when our eyes are opened to truly see Him for who He is – we see love. In its purest and most glorious form. No selfishness, pride, sin, or neediness shadowing its beauty. Just love, unbroken and unhindered.

This is what the world desperately needs to see. From those we encounter through our days to those on the other side of this planet. This world is filled with broken people walking in darkness, slaves to sin without even realizing it. Perhaps consciously longing for a way out. Or perhaps entirely uninterested in or defiant against the idea.

Our need is all the same. To know the purity and power of our God who is love.

Love displayed through the giving of His Son on a Roman cross, so that His wrath for sin would be poured out on Jesus Christ and turned to favor for all who would believe in Him and surrender their lives to Him as Lord. Love practically demonstrated each day of Jesus’ life on earth as He walked willingly toward His purpose.

Our world is still fallen. Pain, sickness, tragedy – they still occur, even for those who know Christ. Sin is still prevalent. But this is not an indication that God is not love or not sovereign. In truth, He will right all of those wrongs. He will return to entirely eradicate sin and restore creation to His original design. Unstained by the powerful effects of our sin. No longer will things occur that stir in our hearts a marked (and correct) sense that something is deeply wrong, that it shouldn’t be this way.

Our God who is love will come and deal with sin directly. He sees it, and He is not uncaring. It breaks His heart to see us suffer. Especially to see those still trapped in sin, who have not turned to Him for freedom from its weight and destructive purposes. It is because of that love that He waits. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise…but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.” It is His desire that all will know Him, that all will see their sin, see the hope and love that is in the cross, and turn from their darkness to His light. The fact that sin is still present is only because in His love, He waits. He waits for more to turn to Him, that they will be saved from the due payment of their sin and experience “the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

For those who refuse the idea of God’s goodness in a world so full of brokenness, may their ears hear the truth of His love even in this and their eyes be opened to “count the patience of our Lord as salvation” (2 Peter 3:15). It is love for them that momentarily stays His hand. And if they will turn to Christ, they will experience the fullness of that love poured into their heart. And it will never leave them, as it never leaves any who are brought into the family of God and wrapped in His favor, covered with the righteousness of Christ through His blood shed on the cross.

“Bad” things will still happen, until the moment Jesus returns to conquer and eliminate darkness once and for all. Only then will every tear be wiped away and all things made new. But even now, in these moments before that final act comes into play, our God prevails. He will press in with grace and fill us with the assurance of His love, faithfulness, and sovereignty, if we will not turn away from Him. Whatever the enemy intends for our destruction, our God will use for His purposes, to display His goodness toward us and to bring about salvation.

Someone told me the other day she views everything that happens in our lives as either mercy or grace. What a beautiful way to view the circumstances in our lives. Particularly those that threaten to break us. Because it keeps in view the reality that our God is love, and who and what He is does not waver.

Whatever state your heart is in today, may it hear this: the God of heaven is love. He is not condemnation or wrath or disinterest or shame. He is love. And He will pour that love into your heart through His Spirit. The Spirit of this One who is love. And it will fill every space, mend every brokenness, and deliver you from every fear.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:35-39

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