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Unseen Love


This past week I shared my testimony over our Facebook livestreams. This blog is certainly not a commercial for that, but it does share with you where my inspiration is from. I end my testimony with a passage that I believe has transformed my life in many ways, and really shapes the way I view my calling. That passage is from 1 John 4:7-21, that says this:

"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. 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.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister."

There is so much to take away from this passage that I cannot delve into right now because this blog would be way too long. I do however want to emphasize something that occurred to me when re-reading this passage. In verse 12 John says no one has seen God, but yet this whole passage emphasizes how immense God's love is and always has been for us even though He in physical form is unseen to us. It got me thinking how relevant that concept ought to be to us when we are living in a time where we are discouraged to be in physical proximity to anyone. Our whole lives we have been living in the love of God even though he has been unseen to us, and that is true of us right now even when we are hardly seeing anyone. Therefore, I want you to hear what John is saying in verse 16 that you can "know and rely on the love God has for us."

I hope that is encouraging to you, and maybe you needed to hear that right now. However, it is important you hear the other main point of this passage, which is about what we are called to do with that love. We are commanded to live out that love to our brothers and sisters in order to truly love God. We are called to live lives of love, because God first loved us. So, in this time where our brothers and sisters are remaining "unseen" to us, how are you living out this love of God? I certainly do not mean to burden you more through this trying time, but I believe each of us have the responsibility of actively loving our brothers and sisters in all times even when it is hard to do so. To love God in the midst of all this is to be active in loving others in radical ways throughout whatever this virus brings. I have been so encouraged by the people reaching out to me asking if my physical needs have been met and/or the ones asking what they can pray for me, and I certainly hope that I have been able to return the favor.

My encouragement to you is to spend some time with this passage and pray that God could show you how to be His love today. The reality of our situation is that there are a lot of people scared about this virus and its effects on our world. That is why the call to spread the love of God is needed now maybe more than ever. I believe wholly and want to end with the words of verse 18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear."

--Brandyn Treat