The second question is—What do you seek to accomplish in love? John adds, “so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). The plan of God is to send his Son as a sin offering on the cross. The purpose of God is that we might live through him. To live through Christ is to pass from death to life. John wrote, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death” (1 John 3:14). To live is to receive eternal life in Christ.
Thus, love is giving of yourself for the good of people. God sent Jesus not for what it would do for him, but for what it would do for us. In love, you seek to meet the need of someone else.
Now God did not send his Son to give what you want. God did not send his Son to give what you deserve. God sent his Son to give what you need. You are a sinner. The penalty of sin is death. You need a Savior to save you from sin and death. God sent his Son to give what you need. God sent a Savior, his Son Jesus Christ.
We need money. We need education. We need housing. But more than anything else, we need forgiveness from God. We need redemption. We need to be saved from our sins. We need to be reconciled to God. When we begin with God, all the other needs will follow. Our starting point is God. Then the rest will follow. We need a Savior. We need Christ.
Love is seeking the good of others by meeting their needs. If I bring a street kid to Jollibee to erase my guilt, that is not love. If I help the poor just to seek tax exemption, that is not love. If I feed the hungry to make my life interesting, that is not love.
Love is not about you. Love is about loving another person in the name of Jesus. Love is giving yourself for the good of others in Jesus’ name.
1 John 3:16-18 says,
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay
down our lives for the brothers.
17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Love is laying down your life for your brother in Christ. Love is sharing your goods with a brother in need. Love is opening your heart to him. Love is doing it, and not just talking about it.
I read about a man who was preaching a series of stewardship sermons. After one sermon a man walked out of the church who really loved his money. He really didn’t care about God or the church.
He said to the pastor, “All I ever hear out of you is give, give, give, give.”
The preacher looked at him and said, “Sir, thank you for the best definition of Christianity I’ve ever heard.”
As someone once said, you can give without loving, but you cannot
love without giving. The man who does not give of himself for the good of others does not know about the love of Christ. He does not understand the cross. He does not understand the gospel.