God’s Law Is Love
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 3:23 NIV
Rules are rules. When we do not follow the rules or when we break the law, punitive and painful consequences follow.
Personal experience has taught me this lesson in the times when I have received a ticket for speeding. Fortunately, these experiences have only hurt my pocketbook and my pride.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is “O Holy Night.” Though the writer speaks of God’s law as love and His gospel as peace, I’ve never focused on the phrase or on the idea of love being God’s law.
Love appears 558 times in the New International Version of the Bible. It is significant, and God says love is His command. Loving others isn’t always easy. The prickly neighbor who has only complaints, the family member who insists on having his or her way, or the co-worker who takes advantage of your kindness by leaving the office early, knowing you will take care of things. Only a few examples of love being challenging.
Paul tells how important love is when he writes, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV). And Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
If God had limited His love to only those who were worthy, no one would qualify. He expects us to show this same love to each other. It is not about being easy or deserved. Love is important because it originated with God.
Love everyone. Doing so is God’s command.