Not that we loved God but that He loved us. - 1 John 4:10
When life seems up to the determination of other humans, in a world where a soul can be to small to matter, life is cheapened. A life’s existence seems to hinge on how much space you take up. The grief stricken saint kneeling down where no one sees offers up only tears and sighs. In a world where if you say you hear from God you can be considered insane, where Jesus is mocked and the Holy Spirit is smothered by the million pounds of flesh that think they know better. When life is cheap, what God did by giving us His Son doesn’t seem like proof enough of His love.
But does it matter? Not that we loved God but that He loved us. I’ve been angry before at people that make fun or act like my God is cruel. I want to defend, draw my sword like Peter in his passionate love for Jesus did. But I have been reminded that Jesus does not need me to defend Him. It is certain that God has control not because He is big or mean but because He loved us first, and He will love us into eternity. Love for someone has power.
Where there is love fear does not exist. God’s perfect love drives our fears away. The fear of being hurt, the fear of life and death, the fear of being small and unseen. Fear torments and God’s love frees us.
Susannah Spurgeon, in her book, Carillon of Bells wrote about having a coldness in her heart: “The very desire to love you seemed to lie fettered and powerless within me, only an occasional struggle revealing it’s bare existence.” The verse she read was 1 John 4:10. The words were a balm to her. Living words brought her hope and comfort, freedom and light.
“Blessed be your dear Name for this glorious deliverance! It is not my poor cold, half-hearted love that is to satisfy and comfort me but your love…”
It is not our fallible weak love. Not that we loved God but that He loved us. Can we see the hope offered up as a gift in this? God gave life in the form of flesh and bones, and a small heart beating wildly, in this baby named Jesus. Love and life are not small things to throw away or cast aside. God’s love and our life is hope offered up like poured out wine and broken bread.