Our Declaration of Love
By David Berg
We believe in love: love for God and others, for "God is love" (1 John 4:8). That's our religion--love!
Love is everything, for without love there is nothing--no friends, no families, no fathers or mothers or children or health or happiness or heaven. There could be none of these without love. And none of these is possible without God, for He is love.
This is the solution to all of the problems of today as well as to the problems of the past: love. True love: the love of God and the love of fellow man.--This Spirit of God's divine love which helps us all to fulfill His great commandment to love one another (John 15:12). This is still God's solution, even in such a complex, confused, and highly complicated society as that of the world today.
For it is man's rejection of the love of God and His loving laws that causes him to be selfish and unloving and vicious and cruel and unkind to each other--man's inhumanity to man--which is so apparent in today's weary world with all of its oppression, tyranny, and exploitation, robbery by the rich, suffering from hunger, malnutrition, overwork, abuse, the tortures of war, and nightmares of perpetual fearful insecurity.
All of these evils are caused by men's lack of love for God and each other and their defiance of His laws of love, faith, peace, and harmony with Him, each other, and His whole creation. "For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20).
It's really just that simple: If we love God, we can love each other. We can then follow His rules of life, liberty, and the possession of happiness.
This is why Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is to love--to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind … and the second is like unto it"--it's almost equal, almost the same--"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:37-39).
Those He was speaking to then asked Him, "Who is my neighbor?" And with the story of the Good Samaritan, He tried to show them that it is anyone who needs our help, regardless of their race, creed, color, nationality, or condition.
For if we have real love, we can't face a needy situation without doing something about it. We can't just pass by the poor man on the road to Jericho. We must take action like the Samaritan did. (See Luke 10:25-37.) Compassion must be put into action. That's the difference between pity and compassion: Pity just feels sorry; compassion does something about it.
We must demonstrate our faith by our works, and love can seldom be proven without tangible manifestation in action. To say you love someone and yet not try to help them physically in whatever way they may need--food, clothing, shelter, and so on--this is not love. True, the need for real love is a spiritual need, but it must be manifested physically in works--"faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6).
For "whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:17-18).
However, we believe that the greatest manifestation of our love is not the mere sharing of our material things and personal possessions, but the sharing of ourselves and our personal services for others, which is our faith, and which results in our works and the sharing of our material possessions. Jesus Himself had nothing material to share with His disciples, only His love and His life, which He gave for them and for us, that we too might have life and love forever.
For "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). So we consider that the sharing of ourselves, our love and our life with others, is the greatest of all sharing and our ultimate goal, as well as our present means to that end.
In fact, this is why God created man to begin with: to love--to love and enjoy Him forever and to try to help others to do the same. It was God who created love and gave man the need to love and be loved, and He alone can satisfy the deepest yearning of every human soul for total love and complete understanding.
Although the temporal things of this earth can satisfy the body, only God and His eternal love can ever fill that aching spiritual void of every man's heart which He created for Himself alone. The human spirit, that intangible personality of the real you that dwells within that body, can never be completely satisfied with anything less than utter union with the great and loving Spirit that created it.
He is the very spirit of love itself, true love, everlasting love, real love, genuine love that never ends from a lover who never leaves, the Lover of all lovers, God Himself.
He's pictured in His Son Christ Jesus, who came for love and lived in love and died for love that we might live and love forever. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
To receive God's love in Jesus, all you have to do is open your heart, pray, and ask Him to come in. Jesus promised, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come into him" (Revelation 3:20). He waits lovingly at your heart's door, not forcing Himself upon you, not pushing the door open, but waiting for you to simply ask Him in.
When you have done this, your whole life will be changed, like a newborn baby born into a whole new world with a new spirit as a new child of God. His Spirit within you will then enable you to do the humanly impossible: love God and man.
You will discover true happiness--not in your personal pursuit of selfish pleasure and satisfaction, but in finding God and giving His life to others and bringing them happiness. Then happiness pursues and overtakes you, personally, without your even seeking it for yourself.
"For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). If you sow love, you're going to reap love. If you sow friendship, you're going to reap friendship. So obey God's law of love--unselfish love, love for Him and others--and give that love which is His and their due, and so shall ye also receive. "For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38).
Find out what wonders love can do. You'll find a whole new world you have only dreamed of! There are wonders of love that you yourself can enjoy along with some other lonely soul if you will only try. If you give love, you'll get love.
Love wasn't put in your heart to stay; love isn't love till you give it away. Receive God's love in Jesus today. He's the only truth, the only peace, and the only way. Love never fails, for God is love (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Long live love! Love one another. God is love.