1 John 4: 12
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
What we demonstrate, who we reveal – completing the circuit of God reaching others
1 John 4: 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Who are the people you can trust? The ones who are showing by their lives that they are in God’s love, of course.
Was this confusion or division just a feature of early church, first century life? Well, not exactly.
You may not have had the opportunity to experience as many churches I have – but you will have experienced some. You will know that they read the same Bible, wear the same clothes, have similar issues with their buildings, but the message they bring from it can seem very different. Some of you have looked around for a while to find a church that is a good fit with your values. There are probably a good number who check out as far as beliefs go. But you are looking beyond that – for a sense of vision, a way of being, a corporate identity (not just a logo!) that is an expression of spiritual life that fits. Values that sit well with your own values.
Plenty of people can ‘talk it”. But talking it and walking it can be two different things.
Why is God’s love made complete? The word is teleioo, which means ‘reach its end’. God’s love is what we will experience in heaven. It exists there and needs nothing added to it – but it does need an expression. However fully-faceted it is, however much of a Which? Best Buy, however high-scoring or quality-assured, all the time it stays in heaven, it is not reaching its end, or goal. You are familiar with that ‘tele’ word – however polished and brilliant the show or newscast is in the studio, it lacks completeness until broadcast engineers have ensured it reaches us via our tele-vision sets. And like God’s love, we have the responsibility to do certain things to receive it.
Shift scene to our earthly world. Whether we realise it or not, we are made in God’s image, created to display God’s love – and to give it away. So all eyes on us, the Christians. We are the ones who know God – and know who we are. We know Jesus, and we know we are new creations. We are members of a body, where relationships are worked out and modelled and where we grow in gifts, especially love.
We are created for relationship, and God’s agape love is what powers relationship. And God’s love poured into our hearts (Rom. 5:5) leaks out into every relationship around us.
The world doesn’t know God. God is separated from them by barriers of independence and selfish determination, so that’s a difficulty. We overcome that difficulty and break down those barriers by praying the kingdom of God over those around us. But the bottom line is that it is God’s love in us which reaches them, before they can know Him for themselves.
That’s how God’s love is made complete and reaches its destination, through us. A bit of a responsibility, that. But a good one.
Write down some of your personal values. Now look at Speen Church’s values on the Welcome page. Ring round the ones that particularly match up. What, in the church’s values, would you like to see emphasised more, made more clear – or changed?