Saturday, November 5, 2016
To believe that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that God exists, that what He had told people in the past about the coming Messiah was true. Those who love God would also love His Messiah, His begotten. That message is essential in Christianity.
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. (John 3:16 KJV)
Two years of Spanish in high school, and a lack of using it since, left me with a few words and phrases that stick in my mind. One phrase is the opening of John 3:16: Porque de tal manera amo Dios al mundo. A teacher gave a translation as: "Because of the manner of love God had toward the world . . ." His love was given in an awesome manner, wasn’t it? That’s why it is easy to understand John:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8 KJV)
Love is the basis of Jesus’ entire teachings:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40 KJV)
That first part is beyond millions of people in this world. The second is very difficult for many who find the first one fulfilling and are seeking to accomplish it.
It includes loving the unlovable. Loving those who would reject this very message of love. Too many have not seen love in their lives – except that love described as:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV)
Money is NOT the root of all evil – the love of it is. Loving money for the things it can bring into our lives – power, attention, luxury, celebrity – beyond necessity. Money can be used for good, even a little money can be used to combine with other small amounts a do good. Without love, money is as useless as Paul describes it:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 KJV)
Without love – God’s type of love that gave Himself – even in life there is nothing, no matter how “good” we sound or appear. Without love for the unlovable, we are missing the mark.