“Beloved — what a remarkable way to be thought of, or in many ways to refer to oneself. I have long admired the apostle John, the brother of Andrew, for his understanding of the love of the Lord. It was not arrogance on the part of John to refer to himself as the ‘disciple, whom Jesus loved’ (John 20:2). I believe it was a recognition of his profound appreciation and delight that he was beloved of the Lord. Oh, what a feeling to know the Lord’s love, not only for oneself, but as John truly understood, God’s love for us all.”Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 2 December 2023
Never have I felt more whole, more joy, than when my heart is filled with love. In this season of joy and love, it seems easier to express the sweet feelings of our hearts beyond ourselves in word, and beyond word in giving, and beyond giving in sacrifice, that others might feel the exquisite joy of God’s love. Love is of paramount importance in our relationships with Heavenly Father, our brother Jesus Christ, and with one another.
It is truly spoken that “God is love” (1 John 4:8), the very author of it. We love because He loves. As the beloved apostle John wrote, “We love him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Indeed, as new-born infants He looked upon us with love, before we even knew to love. Our very creation was born of His love, a father’s love, the love for our mother, the love only of father for cherished wife and child. Out of His love comes our love in return, like the love of John as felt from the Lord and realized in fullness when reciprocated.
He loved us, so much so that He gave His only begotten. Indeed greater love has never been known, but we too may show great love, even as our father has loved. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).
Love is a very key to dwelling in the light and the answer in finding our way back to the presence of God. John wrote, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him” (1 John 2:10). If we have love in our hearts and we act in that love we will be guided by the Holy Ghost wherever we may go, and clearly see the path that we must follow always. It is by loving our Heavenly Father and loving our fellowman that we are led to and in the light. The Spirit guides us to hold to the iron-rod which will lead us to the love of God. There is no stumbling as we walk in the light of His love.
As we walk in the light of God’s love we have no cause to fear, for “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).
In my teenage years my beloved friend Tim Robinson taught me the words of a song I sing often still. The simple teachings, based on lyrics originally written by Anna B. Warner (1860), speak so much to my heart of the love of the Lord, and the joy and wonder of knowing Jesus’ love.
Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
Oh, how He loves you and me,
He gave His Life.
What more could He Give?
Oh, how He loves you!
Oh, how He loves me!
Oh, how He loves you and me!
I am forever grateful to Tim for his love, friendship, and the sweet understanding of the Lord’s love he conveyed to me through song.
It is easy to say that one loves. We hear it all the time, and said truly it is good, but more important than saying is doing. “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Truly my beloved, beloved of the Lord, let us show in our compassion, in our expression, in our faith, in our embrace, and in our actions the love of God manifested in the flesh of our outreached hands. “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect” (1 John 4:16-17). Let us love one another as He has loved us, a perfect love,… beloved. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.