It was an old Church with steeples, splendid arches, vaulted ribs, bundled columns at alter side, and a very serene interior. 0n 31 Aug 2016, 8:30 am, a young girl, 24, went inside that Church to pray before starting her work as a teacher in a nearby school. She had a jubilant reason that morning to pray as her wedding was going to be the following week. Suddenly a man entered and attacked her on the head and shoulders with a sharp weapon. She succumbed to injuries before reaching the hospital. He said he killed her because she was getting married to another man. ‘That which does not come to me shall never go to anyone else’ was the motive of the man who claimed to be her lover. Is this love?
The world is full of distorted descriptions of love that celebrate whipping up passion and lust. Society, propelled by commercial consumerist connotations blurs the face of infatuation and tags it as love. The hyperbole sparkling through the galaxy of prose and poetry on love further eclipses its meaning and substance.
Apostle John fondly remembered as the beloved disciple of our Lord wrote a lot on love. In 1 John 4: 7-12 we get to see a crystal-clear depiction of love.
Love is the essence of God’s character. Love does not define Him; rather, He defines it.
The reality of the Creator (1 John 4:7-8).
Love is the essence of God’s character. Love does not define Him; rather, He defines it. As Moses told the Israelites, God delighted in them to love them (Deut. 10:15) with unconditional (Deut. 7:7,8), unending (Jer. 31:3), and unfailing (Ps. 44:26, Is. 54:10) love.
Revelation on the Cross (1 John 4: 9-10)
We can never fathom why our Lord went to the cross as our substitute and representative. On the cross, we get to see the demonstration of love when He died for us sinners. We can do nothing to purchase that favor, nor can we ever be adequately good to earn it. God’s justice and holiness demanded that sin be paid for, and then God’s love intervened.
Replication in the Church (1 John 4:11-12)
Something is visible only when it is demonstrated and so is love. It is a believer’s continual moral obligation to love one another and it is a quality of love, God enables us to accomplish. It is real (Rom 12:9) as well as radical (Mat 5:44) standing out bright against the deceptive portrayal of lustful love. The Holy Spirit of God pours this love into us (Rom 5:5) and enables us to live and love like Jesus. He makes it possible to love the impossible personalities and accept one another despite our differences. It changes the way we view people and what we desire for them. Subsequently, it impacts the attitude of our interaction with them. Without such influence of God’s spirit, love just remains a hypothesis exposing hypocrisy. One test to see if one is filled with love from above is the intensity to share God’s love with those who have not yet heard about it. Love compels (2 Cor 5:14) and its consequence is seen how many people we have brought to Him.
May God enlighten us to learn from His love and be empowered by Him to practice it.