This Is Love

This is Love

Dear Faith Family, 

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, (1 John 4:10). 

You stop by the grocery store on your way home from the office.  Waiting in line in front of you is a man with the biggest bunch of flowers that you’ve ever seen.  In his other hand in a Hallmark card with a pink envelope.  You panic and mentally check your calendar to be sure that you’re not forgetting a holiday.  And then?  Is your next thought a response like “how sweet”?  Or, is your next thought more like “what did he do wrong?” 

Maybe you were the guy holding the flowers?  I think we understand the concept of what it means to appease the wrath of our spouse, right?  And don’t act like you’ve never gotten the “stink eye.”  It happens when an important date gets forgotten.  When plans get cancelled at the last minute.  Or when a prized possession “accidentally” finds its way to the Salvation Army donation station. 

Wrath demands to be appeased.  And so we try.  That’s what John was talking about when he used the word translated, “propitiation.”  We try to “make up” for our mess up.  And so, we attempt no less with our God, do we not?  I’ll be good today to make up for yesterday.  I’ll try harder.  I’ll read my Bible more.  I’ll pray more. 

Here’s the part of 1 John 4 that may escape our notice.  The propitiation that John speaks about begins and ends with our God.  God sent His Son to satisfy His wrath for our sins!  In other words, He “buys his own flowers” on our behalf.  Let that sink in. 

Think about it like this.  You forgot your wife’s birthday.  Again!  She’s hurt and she’s angry.  You’re clueless.  So, off to the store she goes and purchases flowers with money that she received in a birthday card from her parents.  She carefully selects just the right card and gives it to herself on your behalf.  Her wrath is satisfied.  She’s no longer mad.  She welcomes you after a full day of work.  Are you starting to get the picture?! 

We don’t appease the wrath of God for our sins.  No, He, by sending Jesus, His only Son, appeased (that’s past tense) His own wrath for our sins!  Wow!  Let that shed a little light on the beginning of Advent. 

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another, (1 John 4:11), 
Pastor Karl