Living Lives of Love
Open Your Bible
1 John 3:11-24, 1 John 4:7-21, 1 Peter 1:13-25, Proverbs 3:3-4
BY Abby Flynn
I love pizza. I love roller coasters. I love coffee, and I love when my kids let me sleep in on the weekend. While these are definitely some of my favorite things, I admittedly throw the word “love” around.
As a culture, we’ve seeped almost every inch of meaning and purpose out of the word love. So how do we know what love is anymore? How do we show love to our friends, co-workers, spouses, and neighbors? If Scripture is our guide, it tells us that true love comes from God alone. Any source of real love is modeled after God’s character and nature (1John 4:7–8).
That means we get to learn from the best! That also means if we don’t know God, we don’t truly know love yet. When we begin a relationship with Jesus and welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives, we’re given two important tasks: The first is to love God. The second is to love each other (vv.10–12).
Our Scripture reading from today tells us, “If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is made complete in us” (v.12).
I’m guessing that for some of us, there are people in our lives that are easy to love. But what about the difficult people we know—the ones we struggle to get along with? Are we called to love them too?
If we love God, that means we must seek to love all of our brothers and sisters (1Peter 1:22–23). It’s not natural for us in our sinful nature to love like this. That’s the tension we feel. But there’s good news! God has given us His Holy Spirit. That means He is with us as we love each other. We’re not doing this in our strength. He gives us everything we need to do it (1John 4:13)!
How can you and I possibly show love to people who have hurt or betrayed us? It’s difficult to love people in our churches who have looked past us or treated us poorly. I, too, have been wounded by other believers and know how painful those wounds can be. But when we draw close to God, He purifies our hearts so we can love in the way that we’re called to love.
Dear God, we confess that in our strength we will always fall short. Thank you that we have security and confidence because of your love. Your love and strength are always available to us, help us to love like you, today. Amen.