True Love

 

 

 

(1 John 4:7-21 NIV)  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. {8} Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. {9} This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. {10} This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. {11} Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. {12} No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. {13} We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. {14} And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. {15} If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. {16} And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. {17} In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. {18} There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. {19} We love because he first loved us. {20} If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. {21} And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 

(1 John 5:1-5 NIV)  Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. {2} This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. {3} This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, {4} for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. {5} Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

 

We see glimpses of true love from time to time.

*   Parent and child

*   Husband and wife

*   Between friends

 

But these are people we know. People close to us or related to us!

*   (Rom 5:8 NIV)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

*   (Mat 5:44-47 NIV)  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, {45} that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. {46} If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? {47} And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Love, true love, takes us out of the familiar. It takes us out of our comfort zone. It starts in close but continues to grow.

*   (John 15:12-14 NIV)  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. {13} Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. {14} You are my friends if you do what I command.

Perhaps true love is like the kingdom of heaven as Jesus described it in this verse.

*   (Mat 13:33 RSV)  He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."

Interestingly, this is the one time that leaven breaks away from the symbolism of sin. But love should be infectious and infuse everything it comes in contact with. Love should spread beyond us and to all that will answer the call. It starts with just a little and grows to a lot!

 

So I will wrap up with this observation about true love.

*   (Rom 12:9 NIV)  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

 

Can you learn to be a good lover? Yes, you can!

*   (Phil 4:8-9 NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. {9} Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

Love is an identifying trait of Christians. Start small with family and friends and let the leaven of love work to grow that love.

*   (John 13:34-35 NIV)  "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. {35} By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."