Celebrating God’s Love

KEY VERSE: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” —I John 4:9

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 1:20,21; I John 4:7-17

GOD’S LOVE IS shown in many ways, but the gift of his only begotten Son, Jesus, manifests the depth of his great love for all mankind. The human family has been born into sin and death as a result of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve. Jesus, by his faithfulness and obedience to the will of his Father, gave his life as the only way for redemption, and a future life.

In his Gospel, John expresses a similar thought in one of the best known, and most often quoted passages of Scripture in the Bible. “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) We rejoice in the prospect that in God’s due time his earthly children will be given opportunity to learn and appreciate his great provisions of love on their behalf.

John says: “God is love” (I John 4:8), which emphasizes the fact that he is the very source and personification of this central attribute. His other characteristics of justice, wisdom, and power are balanced by love. This attribute of love can be demonstrated by a father of an earthly family who spares nothing which will not in due time prove to be good for the family’s everlasting welfare. The most loving thing that God could do as a parent for his earthly family was to give Jesus as the world’s savior.

For untold ages, Jesus in his prehuman existence was closely associated with his Father—the fountain of love. He knew him intimately and completely, and during a conversation with Philip, who had asked to see the Heavenly Father, he said: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?” (John 14:9) Jesus further explained that his earthly ministry was a manifestation of God’s will and purpose in him when he said, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.”—John 14:10

Jesus’ love also was complete. On another occasion when he was with his disciples our Lord said to them: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus willingly laid down his perfect human life to redeem all mankind from the curse of sin and death.

That truly was perfect love. Christians also must strive to develop love in their own hearts. We are admonished to love our neighbors even as we do ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40), a commandment which, throughout the centuries of the Gospel Age, has proven difficult. Many have attempted to keep the letter of the law while lacking its spirit, thereby doing injustice to the commandment.

Love is one of the fruits of God’s Spirit, and those who seek to emulate it must first of all appreciate its finer qualities. We learn to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Although it is primarily a quality of the heart, the Christian learns to motivate himself by directing his mind and strength to perform acts of kindness. In Christ’s thousand-year kingdom, the whole world of mankind will learn to appreciate the love of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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