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 (1 John 4:7-8).
Christianity is about great relationships. How could it not be since God is love?
We are made for love and unless we experience love we will never be happy. Many lifestyles, habits, and attitudes are lived in the name of love as feelings while happiness decreases.
Could it be that God is love and feelings aren’t? The Bible teaches that God is love, it doesn’t say love is God.
Feelings with no hindrance – if it feels right, do it. Living this approach, often our hopeful expectations become hurt feelings.
Indulgence of feelings causes pain and broken relationships.
Yet “feelings” continue as the philosophy – even the inalienable right – of our culture. A plague really, with more damage to happiness than an epidemic.
Since God is love, God’s inspired Bible should define love. It can’t be just feelings as feelings are too self-epitomizing and not God-honoring.
With God defining love, we find this love often contradicts feelings. Saying “no” is a big part of love. When we deny self, especially for another person, we find true 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 (1 John 4:9).
If we unleash the philosophy of “feelings as love,” our physical bodies will follow this love into indulgence, addiction, and frustration. If we understand God and follow His ways, we find a narrower path of discipline leading to freedom.
When we love God, our temptations and desires change to enjoy godliness. It becomes easy to say “no” to temptation. We stop doing what we don’t enjoy… and old habits leave.
This self-denial of God’s love then allows us to sacrifice for others. Relationships improve.
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 (1 John 4:16 ESV).
In our culture, it takes faith to believe that Biblical love is true love! As the Apostle John says, “When we believe what the Bible teaches about love, then we come to know God and experience God’s love. We will then know and experience true love” (1 John 4:16 OGV).
Knowing and understanding true love comes from faith in a God not seen, but whose words are the deep well of love.
Not too long ago someone said to me, “I used to love to do this but now I can’t stop. I fear what will happen to me if I can’t get free.”
Anything that results in fear is not God’s love.
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 (1 John 4:18).
True love, amen.