1 JOHN 4:7-12 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE BIG DEAL OF LOVE. Love is a big deal. A very big deal. All human beings were created to love and be loved. We are wired for love. God made us to crave for love and be active in loving. Yet, something went terribly wrong in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned against the God who is love. They sinned. They disobeyed God. We could actually say, “Adam and Eve chose self-love over God’s love.” The world has been a mess ever since because where selfishness and self-love are present, all relationships are ugly and messy. And that is what makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ such good and powerful news. It does what no person can do; break the bondage of being ruled by self-love and gives the ability to love again, the right way – away from ourselves and toward God and people. Yes, love is a big deal and especially in those professing faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus said it is the truest measurement of our being His people – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
In today’s scripture, go back up and count how many times the Apostle John refers to love, loves, loved. I count thirteen in six short verses. Love really is a big deal in God’s eyes. So, what would this “big deal” love for other Christians look like in our lives? Here are four things which will be present in a born-again person who has and is experiencing Christ’s love. Due to space, I am only going to list them with a brief commentary. First, Christians who love other Christians will long for their company. In fact, they would rather be in the company of Christians than any other people. Why? God has implanted within them His Spirit and His Spirit always moves God’s people to fellowship regularly and deeply with other Christians. It is a bad sign if we willfully miss opportunities to be with God’s people, or worse, have no desire to be with them, but would rather be with unsaved people.
Next, Christians who love other Christians will seek spiritual growth with other Christians in prayer and the Word. God creates this desire in His people and it won’t be in isolation. Healthy Christians yearn to pray with other Christians and they equally yearn to be in God’s Word with them.
A third thing present in the lives of Christians who love other Christians is the ministry of encouragement. Christians encourage other Christians regularly. They want to be blessings to other believers and will go out of their way to be so.
The final piece of evidence that we are Christians who love is we will serve other Christians. We will carry one another’s burdens. We will weep with those who weep. We will meet tangible needs out of our own resources. We will be there for other believers when tragedy, suffering, and pain come their way. We will be active in using our spiritual gifts to lift up the downcast and serve the lonely. It is a complete contradiction to profess to be a Christian and not actively serving Christ’s people in some form and fashion.
Yes, love is a big deal. Is it a big deal in our lives? If so, our lives will give evidence of that truth; evidence that we are experiencing Christ’s love and moving us to active spiritual involvement in the lives of His people.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to not be deceived by examining myself regularly to ensure my life matches my profession.”
QUOTE: “When the love of Christ controls a person, a life of self-denying service follows.”