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All You Need Is Love…

July 21, 2014

“All you need is love… (bop badadadaah) All you need is love… (bop badadadadaah) All you need is love, love… Love is all you need.”

John Lennon was not a Christian. John and God weren’t tight. In fact, if you listen to the words of Lennon’s hit song “Imagine”, he would have outright preferred God (or any other deity for that matter) not to carry any followers at all. Even so, there’s always the possibility of God using non-followers for His purpose and plan to come to fruition. Perhaps the chorus written above, attributed to the the Beatles song of the same title, was one of those moments.

How is this possible? Well… there’s always the possibility I’m reaching a bit far afield, but then again, read the words of 1 John chapter 4:

1 John 4:7-16a – Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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, and therefore, “all you need is love.” I know, I know… its still quite a stretch to say that’s what Lennon was writing about given his stance on any organized religious movement. Be that as it may, the words still ring true. God is love, and He is what we need so desperately!

“But, I have Jesus in my heart already! I love Him and He loves me! We’re tight, man!”

That’s great! Now, show that love by following His commands in Matthew 22.

“I already told you, I love Jesus! I also love my neighbor!”

Ok, that’s easy enough to say, but who do you consider to be your neighbor? The family who lives in the house next to you? The one across the street with the dog that won’t shut up? The person who stole your seat in church? The person who took your favorite parking space?

What about someone who’s homeless? Someone with a different religious affiliation, or no inclination toward religion at all? Someone with a different skin tone or nationality? Someone who has a different sexual orientation? Do you consider these folks to be your neighbor as well?

See, THIS is where “all you need is love” gets tough… In any and all of these situations, it can become extremely hard to love your neighbor and express God’s love to them. Even so, this is what God calls us to do. Read the rest of the passage in 1 John, and you’ll see what I mean.

1 John 4:16b-21 – God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made completeamong 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.

If we have love for God, we must also have love for each other. Grudges, prejudices, personal preferences… none of those have any bearing on God’s Word and how we are to treat others. It has been said many different ways, but the most damaging problem in Christianity has everything to do with proclaimed Christ-followers who say it, but don’t live it. If we are to fulfill our call to go and make disciples of all nations, our own personal junk has to be left behind. Only when we are wrapped with nothing but the love of God can we truly give love away.

If “all you need is love,” then give love away so others can come to know the same love of God you have experienced!

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