1 John 3:16
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (NIV)
This is how we know what love is.
The world is confused and disillusioned when it comes to love. To the world, love does what is necessary to make others happy. To the world, love is fickle. The world’s norm is that love for others will come and go depending on how well they helped us feel happy. As believers, we know this is not true. We know it, but knowing something and living it out are two different things.
Has the world’s definition of love influenced us? When we easily fall in and out of love depending on what others do or don’t, the world’s love slips into our psyche. It becomes our norm, but this is not love.
We know we should not be like this. We know that God continually does what is necessary to help us reach our highest potential through His plan. And we know that we ought to love others similarly, but we struggle. And if we are honest, we often fail to experience God’s love for us. We are able to comprehend the concept of God’s love, but we fail to live it out.
In this passage, John reminds us that we ought to love others with the same self-sacrifice as Jesus has loved us. But then he goes on to say that our love for others directly affects the degree to which we receive the love of God. Moving from an intellectual understanding of God’s love to experiencing it in a way that it overflows out of us in our relationships with others requires us to behave lovingly regardless of how we might feel about them at any moment.
Loving others is the key to grasping the love of God deep in our spirit. Intellectual understanding of God’s love only goes so far. If we want to be intimate in experience with His love, we must also live it out.
Prayer: Lord, help me to ignore what I feel when my emotions push me away from acting in love toward others as You have loved me. Help me love like You so I might more fully experience Your love for me. Amen.
DaveApril 7, 2023 at 9:23 am
Thank you so much Pastor for your award picture of the flower of gods love and grace to us and through us. God help us to not get in the way of the flow of God’s love and grace. Praise the Lord, you are getting more people accessing your writings. That’s exciting and reveals how much people need to hear about the love of God.