Got love?

????????I would like to continue where I left off here about this ocean of God’s unfathomable love. Today, I would like to ask the question…

How do we know if we know God?

Is it by our profession of faith? Our knowledge of Scriptures? Our worship of Jesus?  Our good works? Our spiritual gifts?

Actually, it’s none of those things.

Does that surprise you?

There’s a lot of things that we seem to think are important in the Christian faith. And we spend a lot of time and money trying to attain them.

But have we done the only thing that shows that actually know God?

Have we learned to love?

Yes, you read it right. This is the only thing that shows we know God.

For John tells us this in several places in his writings. Here are a couple of examples (bold-type added for emphasis).

“Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is of God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God,
for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

We know that we have passed from death to life,
because we love the brethren.
He who does not love his brother abides in death.” (1 John 3:14)

So, the way we know that we know God is by our love. Conversely, if we don’t love our brethren, we prove that we don’t know God.

Does that mean we’re not saved? I don’t think so.

We’re saved by grace through faith.

It’s just that we have proven we don’t know the God who saved us.

Whenever I teach about love, people always give me the affirming nod, but I can tell they are waiting for me to go on to the deeper things about God.

“Yeah, yeah, right…I get that. God is love, but…”

Actually, there is no “God is love, but…“, theologically speaking.

There is nothing deeper about God than love. To know God is to know love–that’s perfect theology.

Beloved, there’s nothing more to learn than to love…really.

Faith and hope are great, but love never fails and always abides, right?

Remember when Paul said that without love we have nothing and are nothing?

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.
  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
and though I give my body to be burned,
but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Cor.13:1-3)

Are you a “Spirit-filled person? Going to a vibrant Spirit-filled church? The sick are getting healed, demons cast out? That’s great. Do you have prophecies, glory clouds, visions of the Third Heaven? Awesome. Do you think having and defending correct doctrine is important? Cool. Are you all about social justice? Feeding the poor? Making the world “a better place?” That’s wonderful. Are you willing to die for your faith? Admirable.

But Without God’s love,  spiritual power can blow people up.

Without God’s love, all our biblical knowledge and defending the “truth” becomes the source of combative spiritual pride and carnal divisiveness.

Without God’s love, social justice turns into nothing more than self-righteous works to make us feel significant, or worse, ease our guilt.

Without God’s love, our martyrdom is nothing more than religious zeal.

Without God’s unfailing love, we will fail.

How do we measure spiritual maturity?

What if spiritual maturity was not measured by our Bible knowledge, our training, our spiritual gifts, our willingness to serve, our zeal, our charisma, but was totally based on our ability to receive God’s love and give it away?

What if it was based on how well we’ve been able to enlarge our heart (open the “faucet” of our heart) to receive more of this unending ocean of God’s love living inside of us right now?

Do you understand that if we don’t know how to open our heart to receive His unconditional love, and give it away unconditionally, we can’t be trusted?

Really.

And unconditional love has no conditions, by the way.

What if the greatest feat of supernatural power that this world witnessed from us was how outrageously we loved and cared for one another?

What if they saw us celebrating our diversity without thinking we need to be divisive?

Jesus seemed to think that abiding in this same union of perfect love that He and Father have had from eternity would show the world God’s love for them, demonstrated by Jesus living through us.

“I in them, and You in Me;
that they may be made perfect in one,
and that the world may know that You have sent Me,
and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23)

And by seeing this fellowship of love overflowing out of us to one another…they would get it…and want it for themselves.

 “By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:35)

Do you know why? Because, more than anything else, every human being on this planet longs to be loved.

They’ve just rarely ever seen the real thing.

Beloved, do you want to be effective for God? Learn how to love. And you can only do this by first receiving His love (1 John 4:19).

The Beatles were right. All we really do need is love.

Love, love, love…Whose love? God’s love! Yeah!


Thank you 1BlueStarRising

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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20 Responses to Got love?

  1. Such a beautiful post. It was Jesus’s love for us that compelled Him to leave heaven and hang on a cross for our sins and it should be our love for Him that compels us to serve others and want to know Him more. It’s so easy to know about God but not not actually know Him personally. Not everyone who can quote a scripture and argue about theology truly knows God as deeply as they believe they do.

    Our love for others, not our Biblical knowledge is what should be setting believers apart from the rest of the world. If we have no love with our knowledge than we are not so different from everyone else.

    “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”- John 13:35

    Thank you for sharing this Mel! It’s definitely something that each of us should think about often. Be blessed!

    • Mel Wild says:

      “Our love for others, not our Biblical knowledge is what should be setting believers apart from the rest of the world. If we have no love with our knowledge than we are not so different from everyone else.” Amen! Well said. Thank you for your comments, Anna. Much appreciated, as always. Blessings.

  2. Get out of my head! I just finished writing about this for my post tomorrow (though with a slightly different bent). You’re absolutely right. It’s all about love. ❤

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ha ha! I read an awesome post by Shannon Elizabeth Moreno on The Christian Gazette on love right after publishing this one! Maybe the Holy Spirit is trying to send us a message, do you think? 🙂
      I look forward to reading your offering. You cannot possibly exhaust the subject! Let’s spread the love!

  3. Great post! I was also discussing unconditional love yesterday, though not in such depth. Might link your post to the end of mine if that’s ok. There is also a great song about being known by our love, called By Our Love, by Christy Nockles. Know it? We sing it at church. Very encouraging.

  4. I think that this is one of your best posts I’ve read, Mel. Awesome. Love never fails. What i don’t understand is that in the church we’ll do every bar keep the first and second commandments. Everything.

    Peace,
    AR

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, and I agree with you on our focus. Obviously, we don’t know Love when we think other things are more important. But when we encounter Love we find that our job is to love, first and last, not to judge. How simple and liberating! God seems to think He can handle the rest. 🙂

  5. TK says:

    I am on board with all of this. I have often thought of God as love… that is to say, love is literally God and vice versa. Love never fails, never falters and can conquer all. When we love one another or have love given to us, we are experiencing God in our lives.

    It’s a shame that people don’t see this. I see a lot of hate thrown around towards those who aren’t religious or who love people that certain religious dogmas claim they shouldn’t love. I don’t see why we have to divide it and hold certain kinds of love above other. The love of a parent and child, the love between friends and the love between life partners are all variations of God in this world. It’s all sacred.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re right,TK. Everything good in this life originates from the Father (James 1:17). Our job is to receive His love so we can give it away. We’re not here to judge; we’re here to love. Not that there isn’t right or wrong, true or false, but that people aren’t won by being proven right or wrong. They are won by love. And I also agree, because God is love, all genuine love is sacred. And God doesn’t seem to be threatened by who expresses it or where it’s expressed. And because of this, when people, no matter who they are, see God’s love demonstrated in us, they will want it. It’s in their DNA to want it.

  6. Kathleen says:

    “Without God’s love, all our biblical knowledge and defending the “truth” becomes the source of combative spiritual pride and carnal divisiveness.”
    I’m taking a class right now on The Christian Worldview. Everyone keeps asking- ok so how do we convince people God exists? How do we share Christ with the naturalist? the humanist? the atheist?
    It’s all coming down (in my mind anyway) to God’s love being displayed in us as we live to glorify Him. Your statement above sealed the deal. Thanks for the confirming and edifying words!

    • Mel Wild says:

      You bring up a great point, Kathleen. We think having a convincing argument will prove God exists, but no one is actually won that way. The heart must be won first. The mind will follow. It’s the goodness or kindness of God that leads TO repentance (Rom.2:4). Again, Jesus said it was abiding in His love and demonstrating our love for one another that would show them Jesus and that we are His (John 13:35; 17:23).

      Glad I could help seal the deal. 🙂 Your comments are very much appreciated. Blessings.

      • Kathleen says:

        Great verses! I have a feeling they will make it into my papers this week. It’s a treat to read your blog after all the readings of the class. I really appreciate all you share.

  7. Pingback: They will know us By Our Love | sevennotesofgrace

  8. wow, awesome blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

  9. Pingback: God’s love is unconditional | In My Father's House

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