Monday, March 9, 2009

first john

I'm reading the book of 1 John with some of the students I'm mentoring for confirmation this spring. This in itself speaks measures of how well accountability works, because I have little or no discipline and generally have a terrible time forming and breaking habits. Anyway, when I hear the same message from multiple sources in a short period of time, I stop to consider that God might be trying to get my attention.

In the last few days I've heard repeatedly that the love of others is something that overflows from us. Tom Corcoran said it today: it's as a reservoir that overflows with water because it has reached capacity and must flood in order to sustain. It jumped off the pages I read this evening, "While loving others comes from the overflow of loving ourselves" (Erwin McManus). And just now, "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

This is inspiriting language, but it's too easy for me to overlook one crucial detail. In order to overflow with love, I must first be filled with love. The only love that exists, exists because God loved first, and he loved so much that he created us. We are the fruit of God's boundless love, so we cannot love unless we too are full of love. So let us submit to his "perfect love" (verse 18) so that we may witness to it and that others may receive it as well.

How am I not letting God's love, and truth, into my life? What keeps me from his love that also keeps me from loving others?