John 14:22-26, Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
The element of authentic Biblical “Love” is demonstration. Jesus’ followers are told to love others as He has loved us. This is a multifaceted definition which includes many variables often absent in natural human interaction. Interestingly, the more we exercise this, the more we see with clarity, experience with the greatest joy, and are blessed by demonstrations of love. We are often blind to demonstrations of “Biblical Love” because we fail to even begin to have a relationship with Him. We can’t claim a loving and intimate relationship with someone we have never met. That reminds me of some of the posters of celebrities which hung on many young adolescent’s walls in middle school. Deeply in love with individuals they had never met or even knew the least real truth about.
There are people in this world who might struggle to show love. Maybe they have been hurt and, in some way, traumatized that hinders their understanding of what actual love is. The world is really no help. The elements that define love in this world (worldly philosophy, pop-culture) are often extra-Biblical and certainly ignorant of God. (Side note: No one ignorant of God can know love. 1 John 4:7-21 God is Love. Without Him we can’t really know what love is.) This fallen world has harmed so many innocent people and wounded them deeply enough that without some substantial maturity or other intervention they never find a way to move forward. Sort of like learning to hug porcupines, we labor with the love and grace of God to surround people in need with hope through the love of God. This is why Biblical love is a verb and not simply an emotion. It is an action, not simply a platitude.
God has so profoundly demonstrated His love for us to SEE. The more we live out the will of God, the more we open ourselves up to His blessings. It is not an earned credit. It’s an act that gives us a better understanding of who He is. He defines and discloses himself to us as we learn the valuable lessons of sacrifice, mercy, and obedience. It’s a truly awesome thing to see the love of God in others as they generously practice His love toward us. We can also be the light we seek for others. In so doing, we can see both sides of the weighty trait we seek so much of. We are surrounded by opportunities to seek and reveal to others the wisdom of the living God. We have to open our spiritual eyes and look beyond our own internal issues to begin to see the glory of God.
The Spirit of God teaches us so many things about God from His word, but man is often reluctant to even take the time to read or pray. As a result, man is left with a definition of love which excludes the only authentic element in the whole process – God. As Jesus told Judas, he would reveal Himself to those who were obedient to Him. Anything else is a false answer to life’s most important question.
In order to see God, we have to be what God calls for us to be. In order to have God live within me, I have to love those around me – both the easily loved, and the “porcupines”. We can all be either “porcupine” or “lovable” at different times. May we be found reflecting His love as He has loved us. Have a blessed day.