“Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.” ( I John 4:7)
This is the heart and soul of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s what distinguishes us as Christians. In the words of the old camp song, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” God loves us, and we, in turn, love one another – that’s the essence of the Christian faith. Yet, when you try to put love into action, it’s a lot easier said than done.
Face it, sometimes we don’t feel very loving, and, to be honest, some folks are a lot easier to love than others.
The source of all love is God, for God is love. It sounds so obvious; yet it’s not, because, unconsciously, we believe that, somehow, the source of love is within us, that we have the capacity to love, separate and apart from God. This is the subject of endless songs, movies and romance novels – when a man loves a woman, and a woman loves a man. We talk about love of friends and family, patriotism and love of country. Oft times it’s as if God doesn’t have anything to do with it at all.
The Good News is, when we’re willing to place God at the center of our lives, God’s love fills our hearts and gives us the grace to love one another, not just in part and for the moment; but fully, intimately, completely, and for all time. Only love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” ( I Corinthians 13:7)Only love such as this lasts forever.
And so, contrary to what the world would have us believe, the source of love is not within us; it’s within the very being of God, for “God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” (1 John 4:16)
The death and resurrection of Jesus is the starting point. It’s the source of our ability to love God, neighbor and self. Because Christ died for our sins, we’re free to live in gratitude to God and share the Good News of forgiveness with others. The truth is, in a nutshell,“We love him, because he first loved us,” (1 John 4:19)and the tangible proof of God’s love is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
God is the source of all love, and the miracle is, the more you give away, the more God gives you in return. Wow!!!