Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without the power of love?
What would your life be like without the power of love?
Really, I don’t want to imagine a life without love or a world without the love of God. Such curious daydreaming would be too dark and depressing.
Tina Turner sang, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?!” Biblically, we can attest that love is more than a second-hand emotion, and its absence is about more than a broken heart.
John, the son of Zebedee, was divinely inspired to write: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Incredible grace enabled John to grasp the love of God. He and his brother James were nicknamed the Sons of Thunder, by Jesus. Apparently, the Lord saw their inner rage and appropriately called them out.
However, Bible students know this Son of Thunder became the Apostle of love. How did that happen?!
That’s the power of God’s love!
It’s because John was born again. He began a personal relationship with God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus became John’s first love, and that love permeated his whole life.
This doesn’t mean John never got mad or never made an unpopular decision. In fact, because of his first love, John developed the ability to deal with problematic people in the Early Church.
Loving God and loving others became John’s way of life. He described himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 19:26). And the word love (or loved) appears about 80 times in John’s New Testament writings.
Here is one of my favorite: 1 John 4:7-11.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we 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.”
Without God’s love, John could have died as a bitter old man. But he didn’t! And that’s the power of God’s love.
Such amazing grace makes me want to sing and shout!
But since I can’t sing well and you can’t hear me shout, I’ll share some beautiful lyrics for your eyes to feast upon.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
John’s writings throughout Scripture clearly teach that our behavior is the most significant indicator of what we truly believe.
Having a first-love relationship with God made a miraculous difference for John.
Christian, it’s time for you to walk in the love of God. By words and actions, let Jesus be Lord of your life and make loving others your priority.