Knowing God; Growing in his Love!
It is easy to say I know God, but John tells us; “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 Jn. 4: 7-8).
In a world filled with so much turmoil and hatred towards one another we see a lack of compassion and brotherly love that has become like dust in the wind. A breath of anger and mistrust towards one another has blown that love like dust in the wind.
What has happened to the word love and its deeper meaning? Look at the different definitions of love and apply them to their proper position in life. There are four different Greek words used for love. “Eros” refers to romantic or sexual love, commonly known as erotic. “Storge” familial love as a mother for her child or siblings for one another. “Philia” can be used as one who is loved by a friend. “Agape” is used as the love God has for us. It is the most endearing and can be seen in John’s reference in 1 John. However, unless the very essence of this type of love is not reciprocal it too can become dust being blown away because of an absence of endearment.
How then can we return the very love that our God has so graciously given to each of us? We know that when God grants us generosity regardless of the size, we can never outdo this blessed gift. Each time we receive forgiveness for any infraction on our part there is no size of a similar gift that we could match. So, when anyone of us realizes the sense of redemption God placed on the shoulders of Christ for that redeeming quality at Calvary our only response can be a thank you. As with any of the attributes God handed to us without our ability to match so with the mercy God has given us through the Passion of his Son we can only drop to our knees in utter humility and thank him for something we could never perform.
The reciprocity from us is to first admit this type of love that is beyond us. It is forgiveness in the most complete action of a Father who shows the infinite vastness of eternal love, which is Agape. The second way to reciprocate is to announce to the world what our Father has done for us. When we can do that we will have grown in his love. Then, and only then, can we say we know God.
Ralph B. Hathaway