St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

We Need Love

Podcast Version

1 John 4:9,10— 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.

We’ve all seen the violence spread across portions of our nation. A terrible act by a heartless police officer has once again sparked rage across our nation. It has caused many to paint all law enforcement officers with the same guilt, though most are great people who work hard to protect and serve our communities. This terrible, heartless act has led many to protest peacefully. But it has also given opportunity to the wicked to riot, pillage, abuse, beat, and kill.

We’ve seen once again that this world is in desperate need of love. But not the love of Jackie DeShannon and Burt Bacharach. It needs God’s love.

Look up the word “love” in the dictionary, and you will not find a reference to these words from John’s first letter, even though they show us what true love is. Look up the word “love” in the dictionary and you’ll find that it is all about feelings. Love is described as “an intense feeling of deep affection” or “a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone” or “a great interest and pleasure in something.”

Unfortunately, English is a lazy language. In English we only have one word for love. Greek has several words to describe all the various aspects of love. Greek has different words to describe different feelings like affection, romance/lust, and friendship. But the one word that sets itself apart is the word
agape. This word is unique because it doesn’t have any connection to feelings. Instead, agape is a matter of the will. It is a conscious choice and it is completely selfless, unlike every other word for love.

This
agape love is a love that is completely foreign to us because it is true love. And so John tells us what this love from God looks like: 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.

Remember that from the very beginning of our lives, each one of us completely selfish. We were willing to use anybody and anything for our own purposes. (We’re seeing this on the news every night now) And yet God chose to love us! And his love sent his Son! He sent his Son in peace and forgiveness, yes even for us!

Jesus’ love is so great that even when this sinful world put him to death on a cross, he not only let himself be crucified, he even allowed himself to be the only thing that could satisfy God’s wrath. He didn’t care about what would happen to him but only cared about us. He sacrificed himself and took all the punishment for all the filth of our sin and selfishness.

He did this not because we loved him, but because he loved us. And friends, this is the same
agape love that Jesus has for you to this very day! His love is not wavering. His love does not grow cold. His love doesn’t have an agenda. He loves only because he wants to love and it is that love which sent him, to you!

Remember this love as you see many in our country trying to destroy this great land with which our Lord has blessed us. Remember God’s love, to put your heart at ease and to drive you to pray to him that all the hearts that are hurting would be comforted…that all the hearts filled with rage would find peace…that all the hearts filled with wickedness and destruction would be humbled and repent. We all need God’s love. Thank God he gives it to you freely! Thank God he sent his Son that all of us might know his love. Pray that his love would find its way into the hearts that need it most.