We know the love of God when we love others

by Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church refers to a David Black blog. Both comments are worthy of careful thought.

Dave Black does not blog as much as he once did. Of course, at times like this when he’s in the middle of teaching at Southeastern, he’s on campus several days per week, and his “blogging platform” (if you can call something from the 1950′s a blogging platform) does not allow him to blog unless he’s at home.

But, when he does blog, his comments and thoughts are always compelling and challenging – academic and practical.

For example, last week, he said this (Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.):

Recently I was speaking with a friend who confessed to me that he felt lonely. This, despite the fact that he is happily married and has a family. (Yes, there is loneliness even when one is married, and even when one has children. How silly to think that another human being could ever satisfy our deepest need for companionship.) Referring to Phil. 2:5-11, I told him that I thought the answer to loneliness is love. It is not in our finding someone to love us, but in our finding in God someone who loves us perfectly. We then express our gratitude to Him by a happy and joyful pouring out of our lives in love to others, without expecting anything in return. Fortunately, I think my friend understood this. I’m glad he did, because I myself am still panting to catch up in my emotions to what I know to be true in my mind. In dying, we live. That’s the only way to experience true joy, writes Paul in Philippians. So let’s pour out God’s love on the undeserving, for this is the mind of Christ!

This seems backwards to our human intuition! If I understand what he is saying, then the way for us to “feel” the love of God is by expressing or demonstrating the love of God. Or, to put it another way, by dying to our self (and living for God and others), we find that we are truly living.

This reminds me of something that John wrote in his first letter:

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates (i.e., does not love) his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:19-21 ESV)

By the way, when John writes about loving your brother or sister, he’s not talking about feelings or emotions; he’s talking about action! Don’t believe me? Check out 1 John 3:17-18.

Do you feel unloved? Then love others. Do you feel lonely? Then love others. Do you feel dissatisfied or unfulfilled? Then love others.

We know the love of God when we love others who do not deserve our love.

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