Summary: The origin of love, the power of real love, the evidence of real love, the need for real love
How often are we enticed with the idea of escaping the reality we live in each day? That’s why we have television, video games, radio, and every other form of entertainment. Some of you quilt, make food, work, scrap book, etc. all just to move out of this world with all its troubles. A little escape can feel really good until you have to re-enter reality. What would you say to the idea of living in an entirely different reality? Not just a short escape but a life-time and possibly an eternity in a totally different place. It might be a difficult journey but wouldn’t the journey and hardships be worth it? The entire new world I am referring to has a name. You might call it “Real Love.”
The world we live in now tells us so much about what “love” is and yet all of their examples are shallow at best. They barely scrape the surface of real beauty, love, happiness, joy, among many other awesome parts of God’s creation. Sometimes I think children may have a better idea than adults. You’ve heard children spout out the blatant, non-watered down truth usually with some random and obscure twist. I looked up some quotes by kids about their concept of love. When asked, “How do people in love act?” one child replied, "Mushy ... like puppy dogs ... except puppy dogs don’t wag their tails nearly as much." When asked what falling in love was like, one child replied, “Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.” You have to love kid’s perspectives on these things. Sometimes kids get a little too close to the truth however. One girl said, "One of you should know how to write a check because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills." If only she knew how right she was on that bill issues. These are many of the ideas, although in children’s terms, floating around the world we live in. Ideas that love should be like a fairy tale and that we must focus on money issues within marriages. All quotes taken from http://funnies.paco.to/fallingInLove.html
I hate to say it but we have all been influenced by these ideas in one way or another. Yet, in today’s text, John places before us 5 particular facts about faith, hope, and especially love that we should examine carefully. We must accept the facts of love so that we can enter into that new realm I spoke of earlier. This realm exists in God’s love and imitates it as best as humanly possibly. This realm is known as fellowship; both with God and with each other. The facts surrounding this realm counteract and contradict every single rule of love in society today. Where love comes from, how does it work, how can you tell, why do we need it, and why should we give it are all excellent questions and this text answers every single one of them. John tells us in this text all about the love of God and how powerful it really is. We must face the facts of love. The facts are the keys to the greatest reality we could ever want to experience. The text opens the door to a realm of real love and joy. Let’s look at each key specifically.
Key #1: The Origin of Real Love (7-8) – Where does love come from? (GOD)
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” - NLT
Where does love come from? According to the text, “love comes from God.” I personally wonder about this because I have always felt that I had the capability to love, even before I chose Christ. You may have met people who were very loving and caring people and yet not Christians. So how can God be the author of love? Two ideas need to be pondered upon; 1) what kind of love and 2) how God’s love affects the world. There is a major difference between the love of God and the love of mankind. Although more will be said in the next key, God’s love is unconditional. We don’t have to do anything to receive it. The second idea is actually a question: what happens if God’s love leaves the world? The day God takes His love away, the earth will basically become hell. Hell is the absolute absence of God and therefore the absence of all love. Without God, this world would have no love whatsoever; even from “good” people. Love comes from God.
God’s existence in our world allows us to enjoy the love we have and even opens the door for us to experience a greater love; the unconditional love of God. I now realize that I did have the capability to love in some ways before Christ but they were selfish corruptions of God’s love. I was always seeking something for myself. God is the beginning, the origin of love and only through Him does love even exist. Without Him even my worthless tries at love wouldn’t have existed. Love doesn’t come from within and isn’t at the end of some magic wand. Love doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere or just appear between two people; that’s called lust. The realm of joy and love called fellowship must start with God’s love. Real love comes from God in the form of unconditional love which happens to be second key.