“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
God love us, we know that. John’s words describe the extent of God’s love. He doesn’t just love us, he lavishes us with love. The dictionary tells us that to ‘lavish’ somebody with love means to give it in extravagant quantities. Our God loves us so extravagantly and outrageously that he has made a way for us to be called his children. Amazing love!
Later in the chapter, John reminds us of the message that has been preached from the beginning: “we should love one another” (verse 11). Indeed, when we consider the extravagance of God’s love towards us, how can we withhold our love from one another? John speaks strongly here. If we do not love, we remain in death. If we hate our sister or brother, it’s as if we murder them. If we find these words harsh and difficult to read, we should take it as a sign of how serious John is about the importance of loving one another.
So, how should we love? John has the answer a few sentences later. Jesus has provided us with a perfect example of love in that he laid down his life for us. This is how we should love one another – to put others’ needs ahead of our own, to freely give of ourselves and our possessions for the benefit of others. Words are not enough. Actions speak so much louder.
Love flows from the father like a river. If we accept it, it fills us and overflows from us to all around us. Can we be aqueducts of God’s love?