Read 1 John 4:7-10.
We’re not used to thinking of love as a person, let alone a source of knowledge or truth on which we can build our lives. Perhaps that is because love and desire are so often conflated in our dominant cultural voices. Yet our hearts are dissonant when desire becomes fickle and consuming rather than empowering and giving.
C.S. Lewis outlines four ways that love is manifest in his aptly titled The Four Loves—affection, friendship, romance and charity. He indicates that one love in particular puts all the others in proper perspective—charity: the self-giving, unconditional love of God.
In this season of Advent, we’re reminded that love is something concrete. It is a relationship that is the basis of knowledge on which we can truly live. It is incarnational. It is the Word made flesh in Jesus. God is love and came into the world that we might have a return path to the overwhelming goodness of life in Him.
The late philosopher and author Dallas Willard was once asked if churches should send missionaries into the world. “Oh, yes, absolutely. To help people to know about Christ…That’s the most important knowledge on earth. What would be more important than to know that God loves the world that much?”
“This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God” (1 John 4:10 MSG).
“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). May you sense God’s love for you today. Pray for those around the world who have not yet heard the Good News of God’s Kingdom and don’t know God’s love. Ask that barriers to the knowledge of His preeminent love would be removed so that people might know Him.