If God So Loves Us . . .

My childhood pastor (Bill Poole) was one of the most gifted pastors and teachers I’ve ever had in my life. Even though I was young when he was my pastor, so many things he said have stuck with me through the years.

One of the things that he said that I always remember is that “if” is the biggest word in the Bible. Anything that comes after “if” is huge. Just huge. “If” is one of those words that holds the Bible. “If” determines so much about life, faith, everything.

Normally “if’ is the word that hold’s God’s truth together with our action.

Listen to what we read today in 1 John 4: 10-11:

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.

love-each-other2In this passage, we are reminded that God loves us. And then we are told, if God has loved us, then we ought to love one another.

That’s it. That’s what we have to do. That’s what we are called to do.

The first question in this we must ask ourselves is this. Does God love us? The answer to that, without a doubt all throughout Scripture is yes. God loves us. He adores us. He sent His son to die for us and be raised for us.

He loves us. Really. He does. Do you believe that?

That’s the first question you’ve got to answer is do you believe that?

“If” so, then we must love each other. We must. We are not given an out. We are not given a choice. We are not given an excuse. We must love each other.

Love is the language of faith. Love is our hope, our peace, our joy, our purpose. God has loved us. He has. We have to love each other.

It’s hard. Very hard. We don’t want to sometimes. But we must. Because as believers, it’s who we are.

There’s that old hymn “They Will Know We are Christians by our Love” (Jars of Clay did a cool version of it a few years ago that I really like) that really sums this up – that always comes back to that statement – they will know we are Christians by our love.

Today, that’s our calling. Even when it’s hard. Even when you don’t want. Even when you don’t want to. It’s who we are.

It’s who we are.

It’s who we are.

It’s who we are.

If God has loved us, we must love each other. Today, may each of us do that, through the grace and love of our Father.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

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