No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.1 John 4:12 (NLT)
Becoming a Christian isn’t a one-time event when we get baptized. It’s not a date on a calendar, nor a specific moment when we’ve arrived. Though having milestones in our Christian life is important, (For example, God called me into ministry in 2008) there is no one spot in time when you’ve got God all figured out and know everything there is to know about His Kingdom. Never mind the fact that this is impossible – we can’t fully understand the eternal God – but it’s not the end goal of our faith.
We can know a ton about a person, yet not really know who they are as a person. For example, I authored my first master’s thesis on a general that served in the Civil War named William Averill. I know tons of stuff about him, his rank, his family history, the battles he fought, the units he commanded, the successes and failures he had, and a ton of other facts. But, do I actually know William? No. He died long before I was ever born. I never got to meet him. I never got to experience him.
This is the essence of our Christian faith. We aren’t called to just know all of the facts about Jesus. We need to experience Him. Unlike William, who has been dead for over a century, our God’s not dead. He is alive! So, how do we experience God? The disciple John gives us some great wisdom.
As our verse today states, “But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” In other words, we experience God by using the love He gives us to love others. The last part of the verse is the key. When we love others, God’s love becomes even greater in our own life. We experience Him more powerfully when we love our friends, our family, our neighbors, and even our enemies.
So, today, and every day, pray that God’s love will flow through you and into everyone you meet. Pray that you will experience Him in powerful ways as you share His love with others. Pray that through these experiences, your faith will grow stronger. Pray that we, the family of God, will learn to love like Jesus loves us.