Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so 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 NIV
Whether we are talking about Jesus the Christ, the Beatles, Burt Bacharach, or Wes Montgomery- it has been said over and over; What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet love! Therefore we NEED GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE. The most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16 tells us; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And God tells us the POWER OF LOVE in 1 Peter 4:8; “Love covers a multitude of sins”. The book of wisdom confirms this as well. “Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).
Leader, If God is love and we all need love and it covers a multitude of sins, what is it? I might suggest that TRUE LOVE, IS A VERB, and yet we get wrapped up in the noun, the feeling. But if you read John 3:16 with the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT, then you can plainly hear it; For God so loved the world- He did something about it. If you read further in Johns Gospel we are told; There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13) The Gospel of John is called the Gospel of Love and He says it many times, in many ways- because He heard it from the mouth of Jesus: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
Conduit; It is sometimes hard to see LOVE, but what we can see is the bi-products of Love; Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, putting other people first….As we do this time of year; We look back so that we can look forward. Let us remind ourselves of those who have loved us, the times we have forgotten to love and the desire to love better and more often. Let us BE LOVING, by demonstrating the FRUIT OF LOVE. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)