Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
- 1 John 4:7-12
“The single most difficult pursuit is truth and love.
“That sentence is grammatically correct. I know every English teacher would like to pluralize it to read: The most difficult pursuits are those of truth and love. But that’s not what I mean to say.
“Love is a difficult pursuit.
“Truth is a tough one, too.
“But put them together, pursue truth and love at the same time and hang on, baby, you’re in for the ride of your life.
“Love in truth. Truth in love. Never one at the expense of the other. Never the embrace of love without the torch of truth. Never the heat of truth without the warmth of love. …
“To pursue both is our singular task.”
- Max Lucado, The Inspirational Study Bible
As I mentioned yesterday, I am going to start some very short posts for a few weekends. Who knows, by next weekend, I might be writing medium to long reads. So, at least yesterday’s and today’s posts will be from Max Lucado’s God’s Inspirational Promise Book. Each little devotion takes a snippet from another of Lucado’s books.
Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” He then dismissed Jesus from his presence. From the Scripture above, we know that God is love. We know that Jesus is God, so Pilate rejected both truth and love in one singular fell swoop. Or spoonerism fans might say, “A swell foop.”
To illustrate the complications with love and truth at the same time, think back to any number of first dates that you’ve ever had. You knew it was unsafe to be open and honest prematurely. You created a false front and waited to see what happened. But the person you were dating was doing the same thing. Sadly, too many relationships stay in that guarded mode well into the marriage. This may be the cause of many failed marriages. Either they finally became honest and the spouse gets repulsed, or the arguments center around how the spouse is not completely honest.
Many would argue with the Scripture regarding the first sentence, in that if love is from God, then we know God. And, then, when we know God, we love. Yet, non-believers claim to not believe in God and yet they say that they love. Yet, the love that the Apostle John speaks of is something that a non-believer cannot understand. In fact, to go further would make this a long read, indeed.
It may not seem like an adequate argument for some, but a little beyond the quoted Scripture above, there is a single sentence that sums it up.
“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.