7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4: 7-11
At the start of the year it is common to focus on new beginnings. Many people set new goals for themselves and resolve to see those goals realized. Even many Christians set out to read the Word of God afresh, and begin reading from the start of the Bible. By doing so, they are reacquainted with the timeless words “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)
Yet how often do we think of what proceeded “In the beginning”? In Psalm 90:2 we are reminded that God is from “everlasting to everlasting,” so we know that God is eternal and existed before the world began. Why then was it that the eternal God created the world in “the beginning” from which our notions of “beginnings” obtain all meaning? May I suggest a reason? Love.
In 1 John: 4 we encounter the foundational truth that God is love (v.8 and v.16), and that His love was revealed to us in the incarnation of the Son and His propitiatory sacrifice for our sins (vv. 9-10). It is simply mind-boggling to think of God’s love demonstrated towards mankind through the sacrifice of the Son, yet it is the only window we have to see in to the perfect love of God. Even before God created the world, His perfect love was manifested between the persons of the Trinity (John 17:24). Yet God still chose to create the world and to send His Son into it purely for the purpose of maximizing His love to His own glory.
As we ponder upon and embark on new beginnings at the start of this year, may we be reminded that out of God’s perfect love this world was created. The Son of God was sent so we as Christians may channel the love that proceeds from God towards others that we might glorify Him. If we love it is because God first loved us (v. 19). Let God’s love be maximized and manifested through us as we begin 2013!
Written by AJ Maese, an eBook Developer at WORDsearch. His interests include strong theology, good music, cool friends, and fast cars.