God’s Love Matters
13By this we know that we abide 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. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.16So 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 4:13-16
God’s love matters. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, here we go, James is going to turn Christmas into a big love-fest this year. And that’s probably okay but it’s not really very deep, and where is this God’s love emphasis really going exactly?”
Good question! My answer comes directly from God’s Word. First John 4:16 tells us, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.” What a fantastic goal that is—reaching that place where “we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.”
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if by the 25th of December we could all be sitting around together, saying from our hearts, “Hey! The most fantastic thing happened! This year we came to know and to believe in a new way the love that God has for us!” How great is that? Not a waste of time hardly, right?
Now just begin to think with me about some of the things that are hidden; there are little treasures in those words. First, notice the word come as in “come to know.” John is describing a process. “There was a time in my life when I knew about the Lord, maybe even I knew Him, but I didn’t really comprehend the depth of His love for me. But then it happened. And now I know like I didn’t know!”
I’ve found this is true for many. They know a lot of things about God’s love. They are consciously aware that God is love. But here’s the thing: Do you know? The word means more than just information. More than just 2 + 2 = 4; more than just some facts like the recipe for a Denver omelet. This knowing is savoring the omelet! Do you see the difference? When John says know, the word in the original points to a level of relationship and intimacy that is deep and satisfying. Not only knowing it theoretically, but also knowing it in your heart. God allows us to come to know Him and His love—and the result of that is deep heart knowledge.—James MacDonald
Prayer - Heavenly Father, I thank You for the privilege and challenge to come to know You intimately in fresh ways that never come to an end because I can never know all of You. Thank You for the assurance that I can come to know and believe the love You have for me, expressed so finely and ultimately in Your Son. Thank You for Jesus who died for me, walks each day with me, and is waiting for me in eternity. I bring You my gratitude under the authority of His matchless name, Jesus. Amen.