3 Aug 2001

We Love

Submitted by theshovel
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We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 KJV

Years ago, I discovered that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translated this verse differently than my trusty King James Version. It reads, "We love, because he first loved us". If I hadn't been so familiar with the wording of the KJV, or hadn't learned the verse as a Sunday School song, I may not have noticed the missing word. For me, it stuck out like a sore thumb. At first I wondered why the NASB (also the NIV) left it out. Then it hit me that maybe the KJV translators added it in - and that's what they did.

Now, don't misunderstand me here, the verse in the KJV makes a true statement and the context can support such a claim, but John did not write this particular sentence as translated by King James' scholars, not even in the Greek. This might be a minor technicality for some, but because of how it fit into my overall viewpoint it was a huge difference. You see, the way his sentence fits within the whole is not meant to highlight the truth that we love HIM, but it highlights the miraculous change that has caused us to actually LOVE. Confused? Don't worry, you'll get used to it! :)

My perception of this verse fit nicely with the popular Christian motivation that told me I should do for God because He has done so much for me. Of course it was all supposed to be out of thankfulness, but gratitude turned into plain indebtedness after a while and "serving the Lord" became "the least I should do". My teachers helped me to read the verse this way: "Because He loved me first, it is now up to me to love Him back."

Stop for a moment and just read it:

We LOVE, because He first loved us 1 John 4:19

Take it in and savor the life of which it speaks because it is the REASON we love, not the motivation by which we talk ourselves into doing it.

The reality is that ...

everyone who loves is born of God and knows God 1 John 4:7

The misunderstanding among those to whom John wrote this letter was simple in that they began taking heed to the claims of the religious who merely had words and yet obviously had no life. These were those who boasted of their great love for God while actually hating those they called "brother". John stated clearly,

the one who loves God should love his brother also 1 John 4:21

John's point? Don't be fooled by words, listen with the heart, because...

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him
1 John 5:1

In other words, our love for God and for one another has been embedded in our hearts and we will eventually discover that we can't help it when it peeks through. Confidence in His love can turn that peek into a flood.

WE LOVE. We love God, and we love that which is born of God ... because HE initiated that love.

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Comments

Is it possible, just possible that much like Jesus Christ is viewed according to the flesh that we have also viewed EVERYTHING having to do with our lives in Him according to the flesh too?!

Adam

everyone who loves is born of God and knows God 1 John 4:7 The misunderstanding among those to whom John wrote this letter was simple in that they began taking heed to the claims of the religious who merely had words and yet obviously had no life. These were those who boasted of their great love for God while actually hating those they called “brother”.-Jim I wonder if those in Christ who notice the feelings of hate so dominating there lives if maybe it might occur to them that something is terribly wrong? Hebrews speaks of it as a “root of bitterness”. What causes this hate, this vengeance, this root of bitterness? Hmmmm….could be that of natural wisdom..hmmm…which is according to the elementary principals of the world? Hmmm.. Why yes!! If you are hoping to hide this under the fig leaves of your attempt at self control then you are only kidding yourself. Then again, do you not know that Christ Jesus LIVES IN YOU? Why not expose it to the Light?
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These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Sherri

How 'lovely' is your letter about 'Love'! : )

It is so very comforting to know that I no longer have to bare the guilt of not being able to 'conjure up love' when it is demanded, required, suggested, etc. of me! I know that I Love only because GOD is Love and HE is in me, and therefore HE will and does and is Love in me! HIS work is done and will continue to be so! : )

HE HIMself is our Source of Love, and HE is True to HIMself in us. HIM we trust because it is our very Nature to do so ... as Supranatural in us as breathing is natural to us! : ) Part and parcel with the Miracle that we ARE! : ) There is no need to worry about 'doing' it.

Love it! : )

THANX!


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Sherri

Hmmm ... the 'topic' of 'love' stimulates all kinds of thoughts does it not? Our preconceived ideas of what LOVE is and what it is supposed to look like and feel like, also conjure up a lot of fear and insecurity, and that is rather contradictory to LOVE, we could say.

I have discovered at times that what I was so sure was 'love' was indeed not, and what I thought was not 'love' indeed was. But now, better than all that, I am relieved to be set free by realizing that 'Love' is not just another 'thing we do', or another 'topic' to dissect and discuss! Love is much better than all that! Love is a PERSON! : ) And that PERSON has miraculously made me HIS own, and HIMself my own.

HE is LIFE and LOVE. Without HIM, there is neither. In the world we see only shadows and hints, but HE is the REAL thing!!

: )

I find it to be most relieving that I no longer have to engage myself in the futile efforts of 'trying to love', and being horribly disappointed in constant failure. Now, I remind myself WHO LOVE IS, and am so thankful for when that LOVE miraculously shows Himself. HE is the only LOVE trustworthy.

That does not even mean that LOVE is not revealing HIMself just because I may or may not realize it at given moment in time. LOVE never ceases. LOVE is not bound by us. LOVE simply IS, because HE IS. We only tend to 'bind' our selves.

Sometimes HIS LOVE is seen in us even when we can not see, or feel, or realize HIM at various moments.

HE is rest, peace, hope, love, security, faith, trust, etc. HE is our ALL in ALL! Our everything! : )

This encourages me beyond measure and explanation!

: )

HE is LOVE and HE is LIFE ... HE is the LIFE of LOVE and HE is the LOVE of LIFE!

: )

Just some more stimulated thoughts conjured up by your shoveling.


My dearest "she-shovel", I thank you for your most excellent sharing of your freedom in Christ. What a blessing it is to have one's life-long companion to overflow with such love and encouragement. :)

Love,
he-shovel :)


Awww shucks now! blush blush

"...overflow with such love and encouragement..."

Miracle, indeed!

: ) Sherri


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Angie

This was so beautiful! It made me all mushy inside. These days I'm struggling to love my kids as they fight and torment each other throughout their summer holidays. Your words remind me that I can trust what God has done in my heart. That gives me peace. Thanks.


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Jill

Thank you. I hadn't noticed this about I John 4:19.

I usually read the NIV.

I also know that the KJV added to the original text in Romans 8:1. The original text is translated as in the NIV, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

The KJV added a phrase at the end so that the verse would read, "There is therefore now no condmnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (I'm quoting the KJV from memory - could have a minor word or two wrong.)

I wonder now if this was intented to make Christians think they must be walking, acting, doing in ways dictated by the official "church" to believe they can rest without condemnation. But Romans 8 says there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus - none, notta, no ifs, ands, or buts. Praise his name!!!!


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Bruce

Jim,

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could see (especially CHRISTians) that what it all comes down to when you get done dicing and slicing it up, and arguing to make this point or that point, and when you boil it all down to it's purest substance...that LIFE is all about LOVE. (and sadly enough...the lack of it...)

You are a wellspring of LOVE! There is no deficit of Love where you are!

I appreciate you!


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Gregg

I had been thinking about 1 Corinthians 13:13 when this topic came up. "And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Why is LOVE the "greatest?" Could it be that FAITH is receiving by grace the life of Christ (Ephesians 2:8, Galatians 2:20), HOPE is standing by grace in the very life of Christ, i.e., standing triumphantly in our identity in Christ by His work through the cross (1 Timothy 1:1), and LOVE is the very expression/giving/sharing by grace of the precious life of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14)?! LOVE is giving. LOVE is Christ! Thanks for all y'alls encouragement.


Gregg, my dear brother!! How amazing it is to find that when someone encourages me and I relate it to others that my being encouraged also encourages the others who hear it!! You encourage us as well, my dear friend. :)

Love,
Jim


Posted: August 3, 2001 by 'Humbly'

Very interesting - "We love, because he first loved us." Then it is to say, that without the love of God, we could not love. I agree, for I do not think I could know love, except that God has shown us His love through His Son Jesus Christ, who died for us. Who could love their enemy? After all, we have all been seperated from God and need a savior to bring us back into that relationship, I beleive that we can not truely love others, unless we have a revelation of God's love. In fact, our hearts deceive us, for I believe we are without love, until we except God's love, through the belief in the one that He sent, for the remission of our sins. So if then I am lacking in love to my brother's and sister's in Christ, or even to this world, I do not have love, or rather, I have not been made perfect in the Love of God. So if I struggle with love, I should ask of the Father, that He would give me His heart, and compassion not only for the lost, but also for my brother's and sister's while they are going through their trials.
For if I can operate in any spiritual gift, and lack love, I am nothing, it is just a sounding gong. Love covers over a multitude of sins. :)


Hello "Humbly" :)

Some good thoughts here on the necessity of the revelation of God's love in order for us to be able to love for that is exactly what we have been given by the Spirit's residence in us! :) I do have some thoughts on this:

« So if then I am lacking in love to my brother's and sister's in Christ, or even to this world, I do not have love, or rather, I have not been made perfect in the Love of God. So if I struggle with love, »

You seem to be relating the LACK of love (ie, NO love) and the "struggle" with love as being the same thing. John doesn't present such an option, but instead writes of either having it or not having it. Those who would be "struggling" with it were only doing so out of confusion from a lack of confidence of the reality of their being perfected in love.

"if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love IS PERFECTED in us."

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By THIS, love IS PERFECTED with us."

We confuse this by the suggestion of a DEGREE of love, but John writes in either/or terms all through his letter. One who does not have LOVE does not have GOD. My friend, if God is in you then you HAVE been perfected in love. Let this confidence sweep you away!!

Jim :)


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Elaine

Dear Jim,

I may be too old for this word.... Coolest. But this was the coolest posting. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Love takes on a whole different meaning when we see this.

I love, because He first loved me. No boasting in loving because that is even the result of His love.

To a coworker I was trying to explain the relationship with the email group. This explains what I was having a hard time trying to. Because of His love is my love for each of you. Not what you or I do but because of what He did. Almost mind-boggling.

Love Elaine


Hello Elaine,

No, I don't think that you are too old to use the word "coolest", it is only the mindset of kids that thinks it belongs to them. Cool is a most excellent word. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, I love to hear them. Yes, yes, yes, you are absolutely right in saying there can be no boasting because it actually IS all of Him!!

Love, Jim


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Michael Daniel

Dear Jim,

I thank God for His revelation in you. I am sure He is awakening many by the Holy Spirit within them to "The Truth" of Who they truly are. Let's just go ahead and say it. Because The Father sees us as totally redeemed, totally justified, totally sanctified and totally forgiven of all sin we may dare to call ourselves perfect. We may dare to say we are Christ incarnate and step out of religion and into Jesus. We may now stop focusing on what we already have and know who we already are.

I am so fed up with religion focusing on salvation. Three step plans and five step plans and seven step plans and on and on and on. There is no plan of salvation. JESUS IS SALVATION! JUST JESUS! Why do we keep trying to earn by the peutrid works of the flesh what Love already is in us? It's the lie of the "I". Why do we keep asking for what we already have? Are we not forgiven of ALL SIN, past, present and future? IT IS FINISHED!!! If it ain't so then Jesus was not only a liar He was also a lunatic.

Praise God we all can rest. Rest in the Fact that Christ is real and He is not just in our life HE IS OUR LIFE and there is absolutely nothing left for us to do but believe WHO HE IS AND KNOW WHO WE ARE!!! Simple childlike faith. We know He is our All, our Everything but religion has kept from us the fact that We are His Everything! Why Would God Himself place Himself on the cross and literally commit suicide for us? This is Unconditional Love and Grace unfathomable! We may finally get a mere glimpse of who we are and how God loves us if we realize that there is no such thing as human love. We simply view an emotion as love thinking we have love therefore we can give it to others. God doesn't have love GOD IS LOVE and the only reason we are able to love at all is because it is HIMSELF AS LOVE pouring out from us to others as well as to ourselves and pouring back into Himself as well. This is just too good to be true but it is.

Two thousand and one years ago we were crucified, dead to sin in Christ. We were buried in that tomb in Christ. Three days later how many lives came out of that grave...ONE!!! There is but ONE LIFE! We were ressurected IN HIM! In Him we live and move and have Our Being! The Kingdom of God is within us!

One Way (Journey), One Truth and One Life! JUST JESUS! JUST JESUS! JUST JESUS! We have no need of anything or anyone else. Nothing or no one need validate us. We get not our identity from what we do or our friends or business associates or our job or even from our wives or husbands. Christ validated us on the cross, IT IS FINISHED! All we need is Jesus! Knowing who we are in Him in this reality we may finally rest and experience the Peace that He Is that passes all understanding. What would Jesus do? Who cares. Who I am In Him...Everything!

Inside Him inside us, Michael Daniel

These are words of life my brother and I thank you for writing them!!

Jim :)


Posted: August 3, 2001 by Jenny

Hi Jim, Good to hear from you again. I'm behind on everything and in everything, but I wanted to take a minute and say THANKS. What you wrote is so true...I want to share a little something more. I don't think we could even love Him back without having first received from Him. To me it's His love making the full circle, a love without beginning and end. It is Who God was and is in Jesus Christ. It's a love that we were not and are not capable of mimicing, but it's His love, Him. And , it has a power all it's own. The word being agape and Peter not being able to love in return until he had received the Holy Spirit. The Lord asked him 3x and he finally got it. I think the Lord was helping Peter to see how much He loved him. This is what must happen first.

Some more to consider. Thanks again Jim. Blessings to you and your family in Christ Jesus,

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Random Shovelquote: Ala-carte truth (view all shovelquotes)

I’ve gotten to the point that it almost sounds humorous to hear people pick out their favorite verses as if they were spread out on a buffet table in ala-carte fashion. source