Focal Passage: 1 John 4:7-21
Perhaps fairytales and Hollywood have distorted our understanding of love.
Real love is not just a sentimental feeling that swells in your heart and causes butterflies in your stomach. Love has more to do with our actions than our feelings. Or, as John Mayer sings, “Love is a verb. It ain’t a thing.”
Real love is also one of the distinctive marks of true Christians. Jesus told His followers that their love for one another would be so distinct in the world that others would be able to identify them as His disciples by this love (John 13:35). Only people with God’s Spirit living within are able to really love. What the world calls love is a counterfeit. It may share some of the same characteristics, but love is only authentic when it comes from God.
As true Christians we have both the power and the pattern for real love. We have the power to love by the Spirit of Christ in us (1 John 4:13). Our passage tells us that God is Love and, if He lives in us, His love will be evident through us (1 John 4:8, 16).
You do not need to wait for that warm fuzzy feeling or for tears to roll down your cheeks. Choose today to look for ways to love people. Trust God to empower you. We have the pattern for love in the work of Christ for us.
John says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). In his writings John mentions love 116 times because he was absolutely gripped by God’s love demonstrated at the cross.
Real love involves sacrifice, even for people who don’t deserve it. Jesus suffered and died for you and me even though we were sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:8, 10). Reflect on the love of God towards you and let us together show the world what real love is.
Lord, magnify your love to us and multiply it through us!