Love is of God
Category : General
1 John 4: 16 (KJV)
16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle defines love in this way, “The desire of anyone for whatsoever things a person supposes to be good for his friend’s sake, but not for his own, and the procuring of those things for the person beloved according to one’s power.” This he conceives to be love.
It is not uncommon for John to repeat an important truth. He delights to dwell on such a truth as that which is here expressed; and who should not? What truth is there on which the mind can dwell with more pleasure; what is there that is better fitted to win the heart to holiness; what that will do more to sustain the soul in the sorrows and trials of this life? These words embody one of the manifold aspects of the Christian ideal. They suggest the inwardness and exaltation of the Christian life. It is a distinction between Christians and all others, that whereas the heathen and unbelieving world knows not or heeds not the Gospel, they who are Christ’s know and believe the love of God, rejoice in its manifestations, and reap its benefits
The nearest approach to a definition of the Deity is found in the sayings, “God is Spirit,” “God is Light,” “God is Love.” The last saying declares to us that, considered in relation to moral beings, God’s essential nature is love–that the Eternal has a heart, and is not without sensibilities and emotions. Therefore, God meets the deep yearnings of our hearts for a personal love to respond to our own. We must have “something to love, to clasp affection’s tendrils round.” If there were nothing in God to which our hearts could appeal, we should retire within ourselves and become encased in icy selfishness.
We love him from a sense of obligation and gratitude. We love him from the influence of his own love; from his love shed abroad in our hearts, our love to him proceeds. It is the seed whence our love springs. The verse might be rendered, Let us therefore love him, because he first loved us.
Love is the most essential and the most characteristic of Christian virtues. He who lacks this scarcely deserves the name of Christian at all, while he who possesses this is on the way to possess all. When we ask why such stress is laid upon the importance of possessing this virtue above all others, more than one answer suggests itself to our minds. First, we may observe that some explanation is given in the words of this text. A loveless soul can never be a God like soul; for “God is love.”
We must be like God–all love–love to those who have hurt us–love even to our enemies. How can we grow like God? By thinking of Him, and keeping near Him, and listening to Him, and talking to Him. Why does the sea shine in the sun? Because it is shone upon. We must live in God’s love. Love is the reflection of God.
Have a Great and God filled Day