The Advent of Jesus
The NOEL of Love
1 John 4:7-9
God IS love
Unlike other religions or belief systems, the Bible speaks of God as not ‘able to love’ or ‘feels love’ but is described as love. God is known as having love intrinsically as part of His nature. Humans are built to know and experience love because love is a reality of God Himself (1 John 4:8). The personal connection from a living God created the certainty of knowing Him and the possibility of loving Him. The people of Israel were to love God in totality—heart, soul and strength (Deut. 6:5; Luke 10:27). Like energy, love has a Source. Unlike physical energy sources however, true love can be accessed at anytime, anywhere, because God is its ever-present Source. Just as all truth is God’s truth, every experience of real love mirrors God’s love—even for those who don’t believe in God!
God SENT love
Because God is love, He desires to display and share love with His creation. The love of God was manifest (Gr. phaneroō, ‘to shine so as to make apparent’) in the arrival of Jesus in the world. A love that is not shown is a love that is not known. Jesus was not sent into the world on a mission of religion to shout the rules from God, but rather on a mission of relationship to show the love of God. God’s great love would not only be in the birth of Jesus, but in the death of Jesus, bringing salvation to the world (John 3:16)!
God SENDS love
Though humans are built in the image of God, they get to choose to be like God when they love (Gen. 1:26). The ethic of self-sacrificial love is the demand and duty that Jesus gives his followers if they are to be like God (Matt. 22:37-39; John 15:12, 13; Rom. 12:10). If God is love then His children should be about love! True love is not dependent on feelings but can be exemplified in spite of feelings. Feelings can follow acts of love done because it is the highest good. The greatest love is God’s love for humanity and the greatest response is humanity’s love back to God (John 14:15). We find the love of God by loving Jesus. Love doesn’t just happen, it has to be chosen. No one can say they just feel ‘love’ but not do ‘love’. Believers have the mission to promote the love of God in every area of their life. Believers are God’s love letter to the world!