Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And this is love...

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
1 John 4:7-12

I read this passage over and over again trying to come up with something to write about it. I copied it from Biblegateway.com and pasted it into my blog thinking that was a good place to start. I drew a few things from this passage, but they're the standard things that I've always gotten from this passage. God is love, we can love because He loved us first, people who know God will demonstrate love toward one another.

And then I read this: "No one has ever seen God." As I read that, it hit me -- if God is love and no one has ever seen God then my demonstration of love toward my neighbor is ultimately showing them God. When I do things for someone out of love, such as making a meal that I KNOW Dr. Fowler enjoys just because I love him and want him to have a meal that he enjoys, I'm not giving him a meal, I'm giving him God. When I'm irritated by the hygienist and we're behind schedule and the kid in room 2 bit me and I can't get Dr. Colburn to come check my patients -- when I'm having a bad day at work -- and I demonstrate love to a patient through my patience with them, I am giving them more than a pleasant experience at the dental office. I am giving them God.

It just made me think -- how many people in this world need God? How many times have I said that someone who is unkind or selfish "needs Jesus"? While developing a relationship with Him is ultimately what they need most, it begins with them seeing God and meeting Him. As a Christian, God has given me the ability to love. With that ability comes a responsibility to show people who He is. If someone "needs Jesus" then I have the power to begin meeting that need. Only God can truly meet the need, but I have the power to introduce Him to that person. And that starts with demonstrating love toward them.

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