It is amazing how much two little letters of the alphabet can speak.
John 8:42 – Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Such a small word, “If.” Only two letters, but it speaks of the volumes of written and spoken words that follow. And when our heavenly Father, or our Lord Jesus, or Holy Spirit uses this innocuous littler term, it would pay us great dividends if we would listen, give heed, and pay the highest degree of attention possible. And that is especially true of the words of our Lord Jesus in our Text for Today. Look at it once again, especially the first two phrases: “If God were your Father, ye would love me.”
When you are studying the Word of God, one of the greatest lessons you can learn for that study is to allow the Word of God to define the terms in question. In today’s Second Miler, let us define the word “LOVE” from a Biblical perspective. It is from the Greek word “agape,” or “agapao.” And while that is the Greek terminology, how would we define “LOVE” from a Biblical perspective? Consider this. The definition for the word “agape,” from a Biblical definition is found in 1 John 5:3 where we read the profound statement, “This is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments.” In reality, it could be no simpler. The “LOVE” of God is “to keep His Commandments.” This certainly bears out to be the truth when we examine the Words of Jesus in John 14:15 where Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My Commandments.” Allow me to urge you to NOT try to complicate the matter. The “LOVE” of God is NOT based on emotion, or on fondness built on benefits received, not is it a love that grows. The “AGAPE LOVE” of God is based solely on ONE thing – the character of God, and He is LOVE. While the English use of the word love is froth with feelings, emotions, and the thought of benefits, both given and derived, AGAPE is NOT. God loved you when you were lost in your sins and had NO relationship with Him at all. He loved you before the cross, and since He NEVER changes, that means the love He has for you as His child is precisely the same love He had for you before you became His child. The difference is simple. When you became His child, you were recreated spiritually with the capacity to love Him back as He loves you. His love was shed abroad in your heart by Holy Spirit. And when you love Him, and therefore keep His Commandments, you grow in a relationship with Him that allows His love to be manifest and more fully known to you day by day, IF YOU, AS HIS CHILD, LOVE HIM. Bid word, “IF.”
Manna for Today – John 8:39-47; 2 Chronicles 7:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; John 14:15-17; Matthew 18:19-20; 1 John 5:3; Romans 5:1-5