God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost is love. It is an eternal love that transcends our capacity to fully understand. But He showed the greatest of it when He sent His Son, His only begotten Son to earth, to be born of a woman, fully God, fully Man. And nothing anywhere, or anything, can eclipse God’s love for us, in heaven, on earth, and into eternity. The most glorious words of the Holy Bible, found in the Gospel of John, Chapter three, verse 16, and Chapter fifteen, verse 13:
For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John’s love was from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. It was manifested in him and through him, radiating outward. It is that same process in us all today, some twenty centuries later, despite the world we live in, who are in Christ Jesus, our Lord. It was seen in John’s ministry of his church to his “little children.” It was most evident at Ephesus and in Asia Minor and it resonated across the ages in the life and words of the Messiah in the writing of The Gospel According to John. And further evidenced in in his last writings, John I, II, and III and finally, in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It proclaims His love for us in His plan of salvation that will one day come to fulfillment.
Jesus chose John. He was the “beloved disciple” who rested his head upon the breast of Jesus at the last supper, on the night He was betrayed.
John was the last Apostle to die. He had been with the Lord since the beginning of his ministry. John walked with God, he talked with God, he saw firsthand the love of the Father in Jesus. And so, John’s love grew.
Imagine all the wonderful things John learned from Jesus. Later, following Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, everything became clearer. John learned from the greatest Teacher the world has ever known the true meaning of love: compassion, mercy, forgiveness, meekness, humbleness and prayer. He saw truth, light and life as only God could display these great attributes in abounding love, love the world cannot give nor understand.
John learned what Paul had written, that “who can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord?” He knew that we in Christ can never be separated from the love of God, no matter what!
John was witness of God’s perfect love on the Mount of “Transfiguration,” where he saw the eternal Christ in all His glory, with Moses and Elijah, a foreshadowing of the “things to come.”
John beheld the love of God during Christ’s Passion and His death on the cross at Calvary. Then, three days later, he saw the risen Christ! And right then and there, John knew the miracle of the resurrection that awaited him and His beloved at a future date.
On the Mount of Olives, just outside the city of Jerusalem, John saw Christ ascend up to the clouds and to heaven. He remembered the promise that Jesus said that He would always be with them, how He said He would send the Holy Spirit, who would remind them of the love of God and of all things Jesus had taught.
And so John died in old age and went on to be with the LORD.
Take a look at our world today. Even as the world grows colder and darker, where is there the love as Christ taught? It should be evident in the way Christians treat one another in caring, compassion and giving. We should be loving our neighbors as ourselves, for love is of God.
But our country is changing, and the love of many is fading.
How is it then our love shall be steadfast?
John spelled it out to his churches, his “little children,” when he wrote: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
John calls us beloved, for we are in Christ, the love of the Father.
You say, “Do I know God?”
“Do you love your neighbor?”
“Yes, very much.”
“Then you know God, for in loving, you are born of Him, for the LORD God is pure love, and has always been, is now, and ever shall be.”
“Do you think it was our idea to love God?”
“So then it was God’s doing, for He first loved us and demonstrated His eternal love for us that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”
And as we love Christ, so we love the Father, and His love is perfected in us as we grow to love one another.
We have no fear, for love casts out fear.
We become bold for the Gospel as our love is manifested.
If we hate our brother, and say we love God, we are liars. For how can we hate our brother who we have seen, and say we love God who we have not seen?
God is love, not hate. God is all truth, not a lie. Where there is hate, there is not God; there is not love.
God’s love gives us the boldness to overcome.
“Did not God command Moses to say to the children of Israel: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one Lord: and thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Then remember what Jesus said to the Pharisee who asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said unto him, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
“And the second is like unto it: Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
With God’s help, let us strive with our whole being to love the Lord, our God, as we live to love our neighbor, and to truly love one another.
John leaves us with these eternal words:
“And this commandment have we from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” – I John 4:21