40 Blogs of Lent – Day 37
Church is Good News
What is church – Day 5
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God”, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
1 John 4:7-21
The church is Good News as we declare and share the love of God.
When we do what Jesus did as he did it, we do it all with the love of God and with the love that we have between us.
God’s love is perfect love.
God’s love is divine not human.
God’s love is unconditional. not conditional.
God’s love demands nothing.
God’s love is pure.
God demonstrates his love that while we were sinners Christ died for us. Present tense. It is nor just something from 2000 years ago, we can receive his love now, even today. Love is the essence, nature and motive of God. Every thing god does says and is is love. Love is giving and love wants us to receive. When you experience God’s love it is overwhelming. When I first experienced it I wept, as I continue to experience it I still weep from time to time. You don’t have to be good for God to love you, God loves us regardless of who we are, you don’t have to be perfect for god to use you, God uses those who are available.
God loves annoying people
God’s love is for all people. All without exception. There has never been anyone regardless of class, gender, race or sexual orientation that God’s love is not for. We can only love with God’s love if we are born again, it is not something we can work up, it is from God. Human love is limited, God’s love is limitless, God’s love loves those we deem unworthy, even annoying people, people we find it hard to get along with, people who have the image and likeness of God. We can let God love people through us if we surrender our prejudices. When we say we cannot save ourselves that is when God says, “Yes, but I can. When we surrender that’s when God gets going.
God gives us our purpose so you will get attracted to certain groups of people. God will lead you to those you are to reach. This may be to preach the Gospel to them, evangelism without prejudice is a very good thing. Or it could be to help people, to reach out to the hungry and thirsty, the sick, or the homeless, to those in or just out of prison or to foreigners, either sending aid away to where they are or to those who are in your own country and vulnerable. Verse 17 in the passage above says that as he is so are we in this world. Now, not in the world to come, now. We are predestined to become like Jesus, yes but when we work in the power of Christ we are being like Jesus to the world. Now. When the world sees the church it sees Jesus’s display to the world.
There is no fear in love
We do not need to feel condemned as we are not the finished article. We are God’s work in progress. We have no fear of punishment of our sins, we are made righteous by the righteousness of God. Jesus is the Son of God so that we can be sons and daughters of God. Jesus took our place of Judgement and punishment so that we can live as sons and daughters of God. God is so gracious. The passage is about us loving each other with the love of God, but it spills over and the world sees that love. The church is good news because it is the channel of the love of God.
The Holy Spirit puts God’s love into our lives and we get lift off. The world sees God’s love and when the world sees it the world is changed.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.