“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.”
1 John 4:7-8
LOVE LIVES IN YOU
For the fifth year in a row, “What is love?” has been the most asked question on Google. Humanity is searching for love, literally and figuratively—desperately looking to satisfy the deepest craving of the the human heart. Without a doubt, love is a predominant theme in our modern western culture, but it’s meaning has been stretched, abused and redefined so completely that it has become a nebulous concept.
It is in this context that the words of John the Apostle find their relevance to us today. If there’s anyone who is qualified to define the meaning of love, it’s John. Writing in his old age, he testifies of Jesus, the One who existed from the beginning and whom he’s actually heard and seen (1 John 1:1).
Jesus and John had a special relationship. They spent a great deal of time together and John had a closer relationship to Jesus than all the other the disciples. So much so that John was entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of Jesus’ mother moments before His death on the cross. It’s truly powerful to take into consideration that love is the predominant theme in all John’s writing. No wonder! Everyday, for three years of his life, John would have seen and heard what Love looked like, not as abstract concept but as a Person. John saw His miracles of compassion, His welcoming of society's outcasts and ultimately His sacrificial death for the sins of humanity—even forgiveness for the very people that were crucifying Him. For John, the answer to “What is love?” wasn’t nebulous at all; it had a definite and concrete answer: his best friend, Jesus.
The wonderful reality of trusting in Jesus’ work on the cross for salvation is that we’ve been granted the privilege of being born of God. The very spirit of Jesus lives in us. Jesus Christ has made His home in us, and we can now enjoy the same friendship that Jesus that John experienced. We no longer have to search search the internet or look to the world to find what love is because He has now taken up residence in us.
This is why John can so emphatically state: “Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God...because God is love.” The implication is that the life of God in us will manifest itself in sacrificial love for others. Love for others is the inevitably of knowing God. The more we surrender to His love inside us the more in love we become with those around us. Why? Because God is love and the target of His love is people. As we yield to this love, we’ll give the people New York City what their hearts have been truly searching for all along: the love of Jesus.