Love is often showed to be all about emotion and feeling, but it is not only that, it is more than that – it is about action. 1 John 3:11-18 gives us a solid picture of what that looks like and what that means for us.
Love Continues Naturally
Now I don’t know about you, but love is hard work at times. Still as someone who follows Jesus Christ, a very significant part of your life is love. There is no way around that. It should naturally flow out of you and become more normal that longer you walk with Jesus.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, there is an exchange that takes place. We give up our ways and we take His ways. We set aside the part of us that wants to be God and we let Jesus be Lord, director, King of our life. When this happens we go from a place where we are sinful, rebellious people who deserve eternal death, to people who literally take on the perfection of Christ. No, we are not perfect. We are looked at as perfect because of Jesus Christ. We accept the gift He gives to us and we then pass from death to life. We are born again. We die to our old way of living and are born again in God’s way; in this way we then live forever. In the old way we don’t.
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. – 1 John 3:14 (NASB)
When you love you show that you have entered into God’s sphere of life. We know this because it is completely different from the world, which hates Christians. Love naturally flows out of those who have had that internal change
Love Gives of Self in large and small ways
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? – 1 John 3:16-17 (NASB)
Love might be giving your life for someone else. Love might be helping someone put groceries in their car. It looks different all the time, but it is still about giving of yourself for someone else. Love gives of itself in order to help someone else’s life. Love is not limited to some supreme sacrifice; it involves lesser ones.
One thing we notice about Jesus is that He was never too tired or busy to minister to the needy. This was often a problem for His disciples who were on a schedule and didn’t want to waste time on some lesser issues. Jesus never saw it that way and He stopped and helped people as He went.
This means that we continually lay down our lives, not literally necessarily, but in the sense that we go through life with eyes open to people around us that might need us in some way. We ask God to gives us eyes to see the world as He sees the world. It is one of the simplest, yet most powerful ways we can share the love of Jesus with people.
What can you do to demonstrate this to people in your neighborhood? Schools? Homes?
If you see a need, as a follower of Jesus, you really ought to help. This is what Jesus did and how we, in turn, share Him with the world.
Love is God’s Supreme Purpose in all that He Does
Back to verse 16, it says that Jesus laid down his life for us. Why did He do that? What was God’s motivation for doing that? Love.
It was love that pursued us and died for us. It was God who saw the destructive path the world had chosen for itself and decided to intervene. God loves you. God loves me. God loves the collective world so much that He would take His perfect Son and place all of our collective sin, all of it, on him and let Him die for it. Love kept Jesus there. So, if you want a picture of love in action, you look at Jesus Christ.
The challenge is applying this. So many people go through life completely ignoring God, or maybe acknowledging that He exists with no real heart connection. God wants a relationship with you. That is what this is all about. You and I can enter into His Kingdom if we accept the gift He gave to us as our own. We recognize that our sin separates us from God, but that God was not content with that, so He entered into His creation in order to bring us together. He took our sin and died for them so that we would be forgiven and set free from it. And because of it, we get to experience life with Him forever – eternal life in heaven.
Love is not just sentiment; love is action. God has acted to save you from eternity away from Him. Will you accept that gift and live in that gift of love?