If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)
I do not know how it has happened but it seems like nowadays if a Christian starts to talk about the love God has for us and the love we need to show towards others, there are other Christians standing by ready to accuse them of watering down the Word of God. Is that a valid accusation? I wonder.
I think we tend to forget that the Word of God tells us God is love and that anyone who does not love does not know God. (1 John 4:8). If this is true, than it is impossible for us to separate true love from God. Please note I am not talking about a wordly definition of love. I am talking about true sacrifical love.
To deny the truth of John 3:16 to me is incomprehensible. How can we dare to diminish the love of God? How can we criticize anyone who desires to share the Good News of God's love with a broken and suffering world and accuse them of promoting "fluff" and "warm-fuzzies"? Just who do we think we are to dare to dimish or even deny the incredible, unbelievable love God has for us or suggest who God can and cannot love? The audacity of that makes me shudder with fear for unless we change that behavior, we will have to stand before God and explain why we thought we had the authority to that!
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Psalm 36:5-9 (NIV)
Did God love us before we became Christians? Romans 5:8 says:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
John 3:16 says:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Furthermore, Jesus made it very clear in his response to the question, "What is the greatest commandment?" that everything hangs on these two commandments. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:28-31) There are no other commandments greater than these (Mark 12:31) so why do we criticize those who wish to share the good news of God's love and treat it like it is unimportant or even "fluff" and make accusations against those who seek to bring comfort and encouragement to those who are broken and wounded? Aren't they simply following the example of their Master?
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