Devotional: Understanding God’s Love through God’s Son ~ 1 John 4:9 (August 7, 2015)

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” ~ 1 John 4:9
Explanation of the Text: In my mind, one of the grandest texts is Colossians 1 in which there is a beautiful expose about the Lord Jesus Christ. It drives me to my knees, makes me fall in love with Him more, and compels me to obedience. Within that chapter, Paul writes Colossians 1:25-27 in which he indicates his mission it to proclaim the message of God which was a hidden mystery for the ages, but is now revealed because it is Christ. I point you to these verses because there is a common bond between that text and ours today. Through Christ’s humanity there is a vast revelation of God and His work.  Here John writes of Christ as the revelation of God’s love.
If God is love, then Christ is the manifestation of that love. What was once hidden is now revealed to us through Christ. While the Old Testament saints may have grasped a limited understanding of God’s active love in their lives, we are now left without excuse. Through the life of Christ, from the promise of His coming to the coming kingdom that He will establish, we have full evidence of the love of God. Furthermore, Christ’s very life and ministry on earth provide a human example that all of us can relate to and understand. Thus, we are without excuse for not accepting or proclaiming the love of God. As Simon Kistemaker says, “The Son of God is the visible proof of God’s love toward His people” (1).
Examination & Application of the Text: Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God’s love to us. With that understanding how much importance should we place on the life of Christ? The world often will indicate a belief in God. Those same people though, will often reject Jesus Christ. It is true that some will give credence to the fact that a good man by the name of Jesus Christ lived, but still deny His deity. If Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God’s love and ultimately of God, then one cannot know God apart from Jesus Christ. Therefore, our acceptance of Jesus Christ and His authority in our lives dictates our relationship with God.
For that reason then, we must never reject the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, this verse should compel us to seek Him more. Within us should be an increase in desire to want to know Jesus Christ more and understand both His humanity and His deity in order that we may also know God better. I often say that a poor relationship with the Word of God indicates a poor relationship with the Son of God. I would add to that today that a poor relationship with the Son of God indicates a poor relationship with the person of God.
Questions to Consider: 
  1. Who is Jesus Christ?
  2. Who is Jesus Christ in your life?
  3. In what ways does your relationship with Him need to grow? Can you list some practical aspects of your life in which you can pursue Him more?
(1) Simon J. Kistemaker and William Hendriksen, Exposition of James and the Epistles of John, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 332.

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