We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister. (1 John 4:19-21)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Love is not a philosophical concept or wishful thinking. Love is action. We can tell whether we truly love others by how we act toward them. Nor can we love one person and not another, not with the love that comes from God. Jesus said that we are to love not only our friends but our enemies also. So we either love others, or we do not. The reason for this is that God’s love does not change. God is always consistent in everything he does and has chosen to love us all continually. So love that comes from God is a love that never fails.
Because God has made us in His image, we have the incredible privilege of sharing in God’s character. God has chosen us not only as the objects of his love but as conduits of love as well. The love we receive is also the love we must share. There is no greater thing we can do to grow in godliness. Studying the Bible is helpful. Religious practices can be sweet to our souls. But loving others is the meaning and purpose of life and our greatest work. A life of love is a life well-lived.
Lord, let me not only receive your unconditional love but share it freely with others. Let love be the center of my life and my highest priority. Let it be the goal of my life to love others fully, even as you have loved me.