Behold His Glory, Be Held In His Grace

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us
— 1 John 4:7-12

Hello, and midweek blessings to each of you! This last Sunday we found ourselves in 1 Peter 1:10-25, and I can’t get Peter’s words of application out of my head, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22). If you didn’t have the chance to worship with us this last Sunday, you can hear the sermon and my exposition of this verse on Centennial’s website; however, even if you didn’t hear the sermon, the application from Peter still clearly stands: love one another earnestly. My mind has been racing as I have pondered on these words. There is such depth to the application! One aspect of the call to love one another that has caught my affections is God’s foundational love for us. When we begin to search the Scriptures regarding the call for us to love one another, it becomes evident that the cornerstone for such love of each other spawns from God’s love for us.

For instance, Jesus tells his disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34). Jesus goes on to say later in that same conversation, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 14:12-14). Just as I have loved you. You love one another as I have loved you. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Our loving one another is a lens into the reality of God’s love for his people. In other words, our love for one another screams the Gospel, that Jesus loved his people enough to die for them. Isn’t it wonderful that God’s love for us is manifested in our love for others? This is why John speaks the way he does in his first letter (the one that is quoted at the beginning of this article). He tells his readers that no one has ever seen God (1 John 4:12). With no transition, he goes one to say as if it were in the same breath that if we love one another, God is present in His people. It’s as if John is saying that though no one has seen God, people behold God when Christians love as they are called. Think on these things. Think on the love of God seen most clearly in Jesus Christ, and then think on your love of others. How might we love our neighbors, our coworkers, and our family members? How might we love our enemies? May our thoughts be ever drawn to God, and may our actions be ever more aligned to Him. Blessings,


Behold His glory,
Be held in His grace!