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Monday, October 13, 2014

Know God, Know Love, No God, No Love

How can we seriously contemplate love,
If we cannot give ourselves to loss?
If we can’t sacrifice for him above,
If we don’t respect who’s Boss!
If we know God we’ll know love,
His message in us he’ll send,
Our lives of love will fit like a glove,
And we’ll live our love to the end!
The Christian cannot endure without love,
They are nothing without love’s mighty power,
Peace in them, they’ll be as a dove,
Knowing God each hour by hour!
***
Love is of God, alone. We do not know real love if we do not know God. Real love gives without hesitation; without thought for gain.
Let us consider what love is. The character of love is patience, kindness, humility, and respect of all kinds. It cannot abide in doing wrong, and it is never loving to blame others. Love takes responsibility. It owns its role as a faithful friend to all. We can see, here, that love is not any simple quality that we all have. We may only exemplify love – which gives of itself consistently – when we understand and accept what God gave: his own Son (an outrageous thought to those who are still blind).
It is therefore impossible for a Christian to be a Christian and not seek ardently to love others. If someone disrespects people without making amends they cannot love Christ. They do not know him.
If we know God we know love. But if we have no relationship with God, we have no relationship with love as it truly is.
Sacrifice for others, and to want better for others than we would want for ourselves; that is the thing we are talking about. We can only do such a thing when God has invaded us and taken up residence in us through the Holy Spirit.
As night is turned into day, there is a complete character transformation: others are suddenly most important most of the time.
Nobody can love Jesus and not love their neighbour. And our neighbour is every other person. If we love Jesus we are not permitted bitterness toward anyone, though we will certainly struggle bringing that to a consistent reality. When we truly love Jesus we are harder on ourselves than we are on others.
***
We cannot say we know God if we do not love others. The moment we entertain bitterness toward another person is the moment we jeopardise our faith.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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