|The 10 things we need to know about love from 1 John|
How much do you think you know about love? How would you define love? Do you consistently show love in your relationships? Are you available to demonstrate God’s love toward others?
Let’s dive into a discussion about love by defining what it is. Why? It is often misused and misunderstood in our culture. For example, if you say you love an inanimate object like a motorcycle or house, you don’t understand biblical love. The Bible describes the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Along with that, the Greek word agape that is translated as love in the English is defined as an “unselfish, sacrificial and unconditional act of your will to meet the need of another person.”
Every person is capable of loving others because we are made in the image of God. However, our capacity to love is marred by sin. The relationship of sin and love is analogous to what sandpaper can do to our skin. In many of us, the marring is so deep we only manifest love in shallow and inconsistent ways. Consequently, in order to experience a more complete expression of God’s love and, in turn, love God and others we must first place our faith in Jesus the Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. In fact, we are completely and utterly dependent on God to know, receive and share unselfish, sacrificial, unconditional love.
The following are highlights of what we need to know about love from 1 John. Please take time to read 1 John 3:11-4:21 prior to examining the list. God is love. (1 John 4:8) Love is from God. (1 John 4:7) We love because God loved us first. (1 John 4:19) The love of God was manifested in Jesus. (1 John 4:9) We know love because Jesus gave His life for ours on the cross. (1 John 3:16, 4:10) When we love our fellow Christians, our love is proven by our actions taken to meet their needs. (1 John 3:17-18) One piece of evidence that proves we are saved is loving fellow Christians. (1 John 3:14-15) When we abide in love, we abide in God and God abides in us. (1 John 4:12) Love casts out fear of God’s judgment. (1 John 4:17-18) We are commanded to love God and fellow Christians. We cannot love God and hate fellow Christians. (1 John 3:11, 23, 4:19-21) As a result of reading 1 John chapters 3 and 4 and reviewing the highlights above, does anyone come to your mind that needs a practical expression of love? Do you know of someone you need to forgive? Do you know of someone you need to ask forgiveness for your hateful actions and/or speech? Now take a moment in prayer and examine your heart. Ask God to repair the marring of sin that is limiting your capacity to love God and fellow Christians. Also ask God to help you love people that you’re struggling to love.
No matter how much we think we know about love, there is always room for improvement. But remember, our capacity and depth of love for others is dependent on abiding with God through faith in Jesus the Christ.
A Work in Progress,
- Making disciples who make disciples
- Introducing people to Christ across the street and around the world
- Loving the least among us with grace
- Leading together through teams
- Empowering the church through passionate prayer
- Worshipping as a lifestyle
- Embracing ministry with a Kingdom mindset