Wednesday, August 25, 2010

God is love.

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(1 John 4:7-21)
Jesus' best-known command, 'Love one another,' is also the least obeyed. It's the most difficult thing Jesus asked us to do. Jesus' message was simple. You do not have to be a great scholar who has dedicated one’s life to religion with its traditions and practices or have an accurate understanding of religious teachings. You only have to be a person who cultivates love, compassion, and forgiveness towards others.
Jesus cut through all the nonsense concocted through the centuries and touches the very core of what is important in our lives: our relationship with God and our relationships with others. The person who is pleasing to God is focused on God and sensitive to all the pain and hurt that surrounds them. The accuracy in belief and disciplining human weakness are not important, but what is important is to love God and to care for others in need. These were teachings that were critical to Jesus. This was the Good News.
Jesus reveals to us a God who is wholly different from the vindictive and punishing God to which we were introduced in our youth. He was a God that Jesus knew intimately. Jesus expresses tenderness in his relationship with his Father. But most of all, Jesus prayed with expectation. He knew the Father heard his prayers and would respond. Jesus tried to teach us to pray in the same way; to pray to a God who already loves us as we are and who wants to give us all that is good for us.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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