Sunday, September 25, 2016

God's love is first

“Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.  Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in Him and in you, that the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2:7-8 RSV (emphasis mine)

The gospel of John, and the letters of John are so full of love. John saw and experienced a lot of persecution, yet his message never wavered. Love is first—everything begins and ends with love. The old commandment that John speaks of is found in Matthew 22:37: “ And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

John then reminds us that this old commandment is really a new commandment: The darkness that is passing away is our sin and the true light already shining is God’s love for us. John calls this a new commandment because it is new every moment. Since God is an eternal being, it is true to His nature that His love is always new. There is no old in eternity, but a constant new.

What I think is miraculous is that this constant new love is true in us as well. God’s eternal power is so great that He banishes the darkness of sin in our lives in a continuing stream of light and love towards us. This love doesn’t depend upon our prayers or our Bible study. It is a constant fact no matter what we do. But when we pray and when we study God’s word, we allow ourselves to learn more about God and the power of His love becomes a reality in our lives.