The Difficulty of the Gospel – 1 John 4:8

1 John 4:8 – He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Meditation:  The Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ is wonderful.  The New Testament is filled with expressions of how the amazing gracious Truth of God took bodily form and lived among mankind.  This amazing fact alone cannot be grasped without faith, but the message of the Lord’s earthly life and message are even harder to understand.  

Why would God become flesh and live among us, a poor itinerant preacher with no home and seemingly without the worldly comforts we assume?  Most of all how, of all things, could He stoop to such a level to allow Himself to be falsely judged, ridiculed, spat upon, beaten, scrounged, and crucified?  I believe the answer is simple to explain but hard to digest.  God is love.

As the Apostle Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 13, real love or charity (in its truest sense) has many noble attributes, but all of them assume a desire and works toward positive outcomes for the ones we love.  It always requires giving of oneself for the greater good of the relationship.  If God is love, the He is the embodiment of this principle, the ideal Love, then His sacrifice should be equally divine and womderful.

So Christ gave Himself completely for the Love of God to His people, and because He is the incarnation of God’s Word, He is also the incarnation of Divine Love.  His life was divine and His death was also divinely orchestrated to express God’s Love and restore the relationship between God and His people.

Call To Action:  Read 1 Corinthians 13.  Note the attributes of love or charity in this chapter.  The word translated as charity or love comes from the Greek word agape.  The ancient Greeks had a sophisticated understanding of love, and their language used different words to express what we simply call love.  However, we too understand that love between husband and wife, parents and children, and friends are different.  Therefore, some translations use the term charity in 1 Corinthians 13.  Charity then is an expression of love wherein one gives freely to another or a group for their benefit without any expectation of repayment.  Indeed the recipient of charoty is unable reciprocate.

When we consider all those charitable attributes that Paul expects us to immulate, we must realize that in order to express them as completely as Christ, we must do so without any restraint.  We must give of ourselves knowing that those who receive our love may not appreciate our sacrifice.  They will certainly never pay us back.  This realization will draw you closer to Christ who died for you.

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