I want to know what love is!

  • Matt's Musings

“I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me”

So sang Foreigner in 1985 with their single that topped the charts all over the world. Apparently, Mick Jones who wrote the song was expressing his own life experiences, having gone through a divorce and met someone else he was going to marry. It puts into words a desire that we all have. We all want to know and feel love, don’t we?

Around 90AD a man called John wrote a letter in which he effectively says, “I know what love is and I know who has shown me”. In one of my favourite verses in the whole Bible (1 John 4v10), John states, “This is love”. He then writes something that seems strange because he doesn’t immediately tell us what love is! He tells us what it isn’t – “This is love: not that we loved God”. Do you get what he is saying? We are not the authority on love because we are unloving. God is love. He defines love, not us. Any description of love that doesn’t start with God is going to fall short.

So what is love? John tells us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us”. Have you grasped the enormity of those three words, “God loved us”? We didn’t love him yet he loved us! We are not lovely. Nothing about us – nothing at all – is hidden from God’s sight. We are rebels, sinners, hypocrites. We deserve his punishment, not his love.

And that love of God does something! Love has to act doesn’t it, for it to be love? “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” God gave the most precious gift he could give. And he gave him up to die. What a death! An atoning sacrifice for our sins – not his sins – our sins! So as we approach Easter, we can ask, who gave Jesus up to die? Judas the betrayer or the Jewish leaders or the Roman soldiers? Yes, they all played their part. But who ultimately gave Jesus up to die? It was God because he loved us!

Have you experienced this love of God in Jesus Christ who loved us and give himself for us?