1 John 4:7-17
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
10 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.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because 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 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
Despite what the media and Hollywood tell us about love, there is nothing that has come close to capturing what true love looks like. The work on the cross is what set the stage and standard for how far love ought to go for the sake of the Gospel. God’s love has had victory over sin and won over the hearts of many who were lost.
God’s love is what should be manifested in our hearts each and every day. His love is what allows for other people to see that He is truly living in our hearts and is actively working to draw us closer to Him. As Christians we are called to a higher standard of living. It is our role to reflect Jesus Christ in all that we do and the number one way of doing that is by showing love to others around us.
Love is what drove Jesus Christ to the cross, it is what forgives our sins, offers us grace and the strength to make it through each day. It is the primary foundation for any and all relationships. Without love, there is nothing that will essentially help foster our relationship with Christ and in turn help us treat others with that same love Christ showed us.
When we treat others with love, the rest of the world will notice a difference in us. They will see that our love is not based off a human based temporary emotion. The love that Christ expects us to have is to be shown towards other no matter what the situation is and no matter how we are treated by them. It is an unconditional love and a kind of love that overlooks the flaws of the heart and says that despite the sins and bad things you have done, you still love them.
Make it your challenge today to show love towards someone who has given you a hard time and allow for them to see Christ’s love reigning in your heart.
Jesus summed up the law given by Moses as loving God and loving mankind. Neither is quite as easy as it seems. However, if we truly love God, I believe that we will also love our fellow man. If loving our brothers and sisters is difficult for you, try working on your love for God first and see how that changes things.
Inversely, sometimes WE are the ones that are hard to love. Seriously, sometimes it’s not an issue of other people being difficult but of our own shortcomings and problems. Once again, I believe if we are truly seeking the Lord then we will have these issues corrected for us. Perhaps not all at once, but eventually. As much as we are called to love others, we are also called to examine ourselves and as if we are in the right shape first.
Self-reflection is a powerful tool. We all struggle with it at times. But it’s essential.