The most well-known New Testament verse in the Bible begins with the words “God so loved the world…” It does not say simply that God loved, it says He “so loved“. That is He loved in such a way that the expression of His love is the apex of time and eternity. He “so loved” less than lovable people so that He would come to earth leaving the splendor of the heavenlies, meeting all of His own just demands, living up to His own standard for righteousness, taking upon Himself the short comings of every person, then becoming an accursed one dying outside the city as a common criminal.
God “so loved”…. What about you? What about me?
The great love chapter, a favorite reading at weddings, begins as it ends, with the superiority of being a lover. In the first part of the chapter (1 Corinthians 13) the great Apostle says if he becomes the best orator ever, without being a lover he is only making irritating noise. And, he said if he knew everything, past, present, and future and yet was not a good lover he would be zero, nothing. Then before he explains the God/love he says that if he had enough faith to move a mountain, gave everything he had to the poor, and became a martyr burned at the stake he would have gained nothing.
Wow, doesn’t this pretty much wipe out much of what modern religion is? I mean, isn’t the things he mentions what we strive for to a large degree?
We better start Loving!
Jesus, when asked “What is the greatest commandment?” answered this.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Do you love theology? I do. Have you spent many years learning the Bible, exploring the richness of its treasures? I have. It’s a waste of time without being a good lover. The Law and the Prophets have no meaning without love.
Paul ends the great chapter on love with these words.
“Love never ends”
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:8a, 13)
You and I have a lot of loving to do don’t we? Where is the next object of your love? Someone at work, a neighbor, a relative, a friend?
Remember God “so loved“. Unless love is a verb it is nothing more than a sham, some warm emotion that is fleeting and will never make any sacrifice for another, including God. We too, you and I, must “so love” that others can tell it. And when we do we will have in that act loved God.
Be a somebody, go love someone!
Because God so loved,