Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.1 John 4:7(NASB)
To John the apostle, and his brother James, Jesus gave the name "Boanerges, which means 'sons of thunder.'" No doubt, they possessed some 'thunderous' qualities to be given such a nickname. Indeed, Luke records an occasion where James and John were so incensed that Jesus was not welcomed in a certain village, they asked Jesus, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" for which Jesus rebuked them.
But as time passed, another theme developed, around which John wrote extensively in his Gospel and letters, and about which he was forever linked to. The theme was love.
The theme of love dominated much of John's writing, including one of the most famous verses in the Bible: "For God so loved..."
He identifies himself several times throughout Scripture as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," and historically, he has been dubbed the 'apostle of love'.
So why did this 'son of thunder' place so much importance of love? Well, as John spent time with Jesus, walking with Him in the way, being taught, and cared for, and experiencing the love of the Father being poured out through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit, he witnessed the very essence of the character of God - love.
Love is the source and the summation of righteousness, and love is the new commandment that Christ gave His disciples as He prepared to leave them to be His witnesses upon the earth: "Love as I have loved you."
Love flows from the heart of God to us, and love is to flow through us to others as we are filled and replenished with His love in our hearts.
Love for the world emanated from the heart of the Father to a world of lost sinners, and love breathes new life into the dead spirit of all who believe on His name.
Love is the very nature of God and from Him bursts forth the fruit of His Spirit, which is rooted and grounded in love.
John knew how important love would be in the lives of all who believe on the name of the Lord, and so he exhorted us: "Beloved, let us love one another because God is Love and Love is of God."
Loving Father, I can only love others with Your love, for of myself my love is so limited. Pour forth Your love into my heart so that the love of Jesus streams out from me as rivers of His living water. I pray that through me, Your love would bless those around me. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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